- Written by Rich Magnussen, Emergency Management Specialist, CCSD
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports that a 42-year-old male from Leavenworth was fatally injured in a parasailing accident Sunday morning approximately 5 miles northeast of Leavenworth.
On March 14, 2021 at approximately 10:16am, RIVERCOM dispatch received a 911 call from another parasailer reporting the accident. The caller advised that the accident had occurred approximately 1000 feet above Eagle Creek Rd near milepost 4. The accident location was very difficult to access and required responders from multiple agencies. Chelan County Sheriff’s deputies, Chelan County Fire District #3, Chelan County Fire District #1 and Cascade Medical Center responded to the area.
CPR was administered by fellow parasailers until medics from Cascade Medical Center arrived on scene. Unfortunately, lifesaving efforts were unsuccessful and he died from his injuries. The victim was later transported out of the area by the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office helicopter.
The identity of the victim is being withheld to allow time for family members to be notified.
- Written by Chief Jason Reinfeld, CCSD
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports on January 23rd, 2021 a 19 year old East Wenatchee male was taken into custody by Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Deputies for multiple domestic violence crimes against his 20 year old ex-girlfriend in Chelan County. The crimes included Assault 1st Degree, Robbery 1st Degree, Kidnapping 1st Degree, and Harassment – Threats to Kill.
The crimes were believed to have been committed throughout the evening of January 21st into the morning of January 22nd, 2021. It is believed the victim was held against her will and was assaulted multiple times in the Wenatchee area and during a drive to and from Ellensburg.
This incident is still under investigation by Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Detectives. The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office does not release the names of suspects until they have been formally charged.
- Written by Chief Jason Reinfald, CCSD
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports on January 13th, 2021 the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force out of Yakima and Spokane with assistance from the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, Columbia River Drug Task Force, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife apprehended the second Okanogan County escapee, Christopher Lee Whitman.
U.S. Marshals received information Mr. Whitman was staying in an abandoned trailer off of Tarpiscan road south of Malaga. Further investigation led the Task Force to believe the trailer was approximately 1.5 miles south of the end of the pavement on Tarpiscan road. They were able to conduct surveillance on the trailer and a plan was developed to place resources in the area. WDFW Officers transported a team to the area by boat on the Columbia River and a team went in on the ground as well with CCSO K9 Asa.
At approximately 2:30 PM Mr. Whitman was seen walking away from his trailer. The ground team was positioned to where they were able to intercept him and take him into custody. He has been booked into the Chelan County Regional Justice Center.
The other escapee, Christian White was apprehended in the Portland area on Tuesday.
- Written by Jan Brincat, Assistant to Sheriff Brian Burnett, CCSO
A detailed examination was performed by the coroner's office on the evening of Tuesday, 12/29/20. The subject's fingerprints were obtained to assist in positive identification. On Wednesday, 12/30/20, Coroner Wayne Harris learned the fingerprints belonged to 60 year old Terry Lee Ray of Wenatchee, WA. Coroner Harris learned that Mr. Ray moved out of the Christopher House in mid-November, stating he was going to live in Cashmere. His body had been in the water for an estimated 2 weeks and autopsy results show cause of death as fresh water drowning. At this time there is no evidence of foul play.
Original story 12/30/2020
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports on December 27th, 2020 at approximately 3:30PM residents of Monitor, WA were walking in the area of the Monitor County Park day use area. Their attention was drawn to something laying on a rock bar approximately 150 feet offshore from the day use area river bank. Upon closer inspection they discovered a human body and contacted Rivercom.
Detectives and Coroner Wayne Harris responded along with specially trained water rescue/recovery deputies. The body was brought to shore and briefly examined. The person was a male who does not fit the description of any current missing subjects from Chelan County.
A detailed examination will be performed by the coroner's office. More details will be released at that time in order to gain the publics’ assistance in identifying the man.
- Written by Bruce Long, CCSD
On Sunday, 12/27/20, at aprx 1530 hours, residents of Monitor, WA were walking in the area of the Monitor County Park day use area. Their attention was drawn to large birds feeding on something laying on a rock bar aprx 150 feet offshore from the day use area river bank.
Upon closer inspection, they discovered the birds were feeding from a human body so they called Rivercom. Deputies soon arrived and confirmed it was human.
Detectives and Coroner Wayne Harris responded along with specially trained water rescue/recovery deputies. The body was brought to shore and briefly examined. The person was a male who does not fit the description of any current missing subject from Chelan County.
A detailed examination will be performed by the coroner's office. More details will be released at that time in order to gain the publics' assistance in identifying the man.
- Written by Chief Jason Reinfald, CCSD
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports on November 21st, 2020 at approximately 6:45 am an injury collision was reported on Malaga Alcoa highway at the Appleyard.
Deputies responded along with Chelan County Fire District 1 and Ballard Ambulance. When responding units arrived they found the collision involved four total vehicles. The driver of a 2008 Subaru Impreza, a 26 year old Wenatchee male was in need of extrication and had serious injuries. Unfortunately, he died at the scene.
The collision is still under investigation with the assistance from Washington State Patrol, but according to witness statements it appears the Subaru Impreza was travelling north on Malaga Alcoa Highway. The vehicle travelled across the centerline and had a minor impact with a southbound Subaru Legacy wagon. The Impreza started to spin and impacted another southbound vehicle, a Nissan Murano. This impact was on the driver’s side door of the Subaru Impreza.
The driver of the Nissan Murano was transported to CWH with non-life-threatening injuries. A fourth vehicle, a Honda Element was southbound behind the Nissan Murano and had a minor impact with one of the other vehicles while trying to avoid the collision. The driver of that vehicle was uninjured.
The identity of the 26 year old Wenatchee male is being withheld to allow time for the family to be notified.
- Written by Sergeant Kent Sisson, CCSD
LAKE WENATCHEE - Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a 73-year old lost hunter was located by search teams in the Meadow Creek area of western Chelan County early Sunday morning after an extensive search which began late Saturday evening..
RIVERCOM Dispatch received the initial call concerning the missing hunter at 9:31pm Saturday evening from family members. David Sargent of Marysville, WA had planned to hike a loop off of the USFS 6306 Road at about 5:00pm. He was to meet up with the two other hunters in his party prior to darkness. When Sargent did not return, the two family members searched for Sargent having very intermittent radio contact with him. Sargent told them he was lost on a brushed in primitive road. He did not have a pack with him which meant no light or other or survival gear.
Search teams including Lake Wenatchee Fire & Rescue, the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office and Chelan County Volunteer Search & Rescue began focusing on several spur forest service spur roads off of the main 6306 road. At one point, a LWF&R team was able to reestablish family radio communication with Sargent, however he was unable to describe his location to the rescuers. He stated he was tired and suffering from low blood sugar complications. At approximately 1:30am, Sargent was asked to fire a round from his rifle so his position could be triangulated. That procedure allowed SAR coordinators to refocus searches into smaller, more targeted search areas on the 6306-430 and 6306-400 spur roads.
At 2:24am, Sargent was located on an overgrown portion of the USFS 6306-400 (spur) road by a SAR deputy. Sargent was hypothermic, soaking wet from rain and suffering from low blood sugar. A search team on all-terrain vehicles - including a medic - responded to assist in getting Sargent back to search base. He was reunited with family and transported by ambulance to Cascade Medical Center in Leavenworth for treatment. He is in fair and stable condition.
Sheriff’s Office SAR coordinators would like to remind hunters to always carry the ten essentials of survival while hiking (especially: water, food, light, a map, shelter, fire starter, navigation tools, extra clothing and prescribed medications).
- Written by Sergent Kent Sisson, CCSO
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports two overdue hikers in the Alpine Wilderness were located Monday evening near Earle Lake.
The two female hikers from Snohomish, WA were originally reported overdue by family on Saturday evening just after 9:00pm. Hope Ryan (21yoa) and Kristen Jost (23yoa) had planned to through-hike the “Enchantments” from the Stuart Lake Trailhead to the Snow Lakes Trailhead from 6:30am to 8:00pm Saturday. When Ryan and Jost did not arrive out by late Sunday morning, Sheriff’s Office SAR coordinators inserted a Chelan County Volunteer Search and Rescue (CCVSAR) team on the Snow Lakes Trail. That team contacted dozens of hikers on the trail, but the vast majority had not seen the overdue subjects. Sunday evening, a local couple who had hiked out of the Enchantments via a route passing by Earle Lake – 2 ½ miles north of the main trail system – told SAR coordinators they had seen two female hikers matching Ryan and Jost’s description near Earle Lake at around noon on Sunday.
On Monday, an additional five search teams consisting of CCVSAR and Chelan County Mountain Rescue personnel were deployed on the trail system with a plan to focus on the Earle Lake basin and surrounding area. Snohomish County’s SNOHAWK-10 helicopter was requested to assist in inserting a team above the lake while also assisting in an aerial search. At 8:22pm, the SNOHAWK-10 crew located Ryan and Jost near Earle Lake. They were loaded into the aircraft and flown out to the SAR coordination base at the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery. Both were found to be in good physical condition after spending three days in the wilderness with very limited supplies.
Ryan and Jost told SAR coordinators they mistakenly turned to the north off of the main Snow Lakes Trail while in the core of the Enchantments. They eventually realized they were lost by late Saturday around dusk. Ryan and Jost decided to remain in the Earle Lake area hoping for rescue. They rationed their limited food supplies and had some extra clothing to stay warm.
- Written by Jan Brincat, Assistant to Sheriff Brian Burnett, CCSO
The pictures above are of “Perc 30” pills that have been seized by local Law Enforcement.
Over the last 3 months the Columbia River Drug Task Force has seen an increase in Fentanyl in the Wenatchee Valley. Specifically, Fentanyl disguised as prescription medication in pill form. The pills are small, round, blueish in color, and imprinted with an “M” on one side and a “30” on the opposite side. They are being referred to as “Perc 30’s” and trying to be passed as a Percocet pill. Percocet is a brand name for a pain killer of oxycodone and acetaminophen. “Perc 30’s” are being produced with a binding agent and fentanyl, in make shift labs that do not have the ability to control the amount of fentanyl in each pill. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 100 times more potent than morphine.
The Valley has seen an increase in overdose reports leading to near death experiences or even death. The law enforcement community has also suffered unintended exposure to the drug leading to medical treatment. It has been explained that the amount of Fentanyl equal to the size of a sugar packet has the potential for over 500 lethal doses.
Information about Fentanyl can be found at https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/fentanyl
You can submit tips on these pills or any other drug activity at the following link on the Chelan County Sheriff’s web page: https://www.co.chelan.wa.us/sheriff/forms/submit-a-tip
- Written by Jason Mathews, Undersheriff, CCSO
On May 18, 2020 the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported domestic violence incident in the Leavenworth area. Based on the investigation a 69 year old (male) Leavenworth resident was arrested on a mandatory domestic violence assault charge. The subject was walking under his own power and very coherent with no visible signs of injuries, although it was noted he was highly intoxicated. At no point during the investigation or arrest of the subject was police use of force applied. A portion of the incident investigation was recorded on patrol vehicle dash cameras and most, if not all was audio recorded by recorders worn by Chelan County Deputies.
The subject was booked into the Chelan County Regional Justice Center on the State mandated assault charge. He was placed into a holding cell by himself. During a regular hourly check, jail staff found him on the floor unable to move his legs but still coherent. Most of the subject’s movements within the jail were video recorded.
The subject was transported to Central Washington Hospital and then transferred to Harborview Medical Center. That subject recently passed away while in the care of Harborview Medical Center.
On June 24, 2020, prior to the subject’s death the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with the Chelan County Regional Justice Center contacted the Columbia Basin Investigative Team (CBIT) to provide an independent review of the investigation and the injuries of the subject. In addition to the independent review by CBIT, a non-law enforcement community member from Chelan County was assigned to the investigative team for transparency and oversight.
CBIT’s investigation is still ongoing and will be made available once it has been completed. The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office and Chelan County Regional Justice Center will not be able to provide further comment until CBIT’s investigation has concluded.