CC sheriff logo 2018Sheriff 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.

CC sheriff logo 2018Updated 12/31/2020

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.

CC sheriff logo 2018On 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.

CC sheriff logo 2018Sheriff 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.

CC sheriff logo 2018LAKE 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).

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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.

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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

sheriffOn 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.

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WENATCHEE, WA - Sheriff Brian Burnett reports an injured hiker was rescued Sunday after suffering a fall while hiking in steep terrain above Ingalls Creek on Saturday afternoon. Tristan Parrish (22yoa) of Leavenworth, WA is in serious but stable condition at Central Washington Hospital.

Parrish was hiking with his father, brother and a friend at around noon on Saturday when he fell approximately 50 feet after slipping on slick rocks. The group had been traversing a steep slope east of the Crystal Creek drainage (above Ingalls Creek) attempting to make their way to Crystal Lake when the accident occurred. Parrish suffered head, knee and ankle injuries in the tumbling fall. There was no cellular service in the area, so his 16-year old brother and the friend eventually hiked back down to the Ingalls Creek Trail and then several miles back toward the trailhead to place the call for help. Parrish’s father stayed with him at the scene.

The 911 call was received by RIVERCOM dispatch at 7:04pm Saturday evening. A Chelan County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue coordinator requested a Sheriff’s Office helicopter crew fly into the area in an attempt to locate the subjects, while a Chelan County Mountain Rescue (CCMR) team prepared to deploy on the trail. There were no coordinates for the scene, as the hiking party did not have a GPS unit or similar device. Due to extreme winds aloft in the area, the helicopter was unable to reach an elevation to conduct the search. Two CCMR members met up with the 16 year old on the trail and began hiking back toward the drainage where the incident occurred. Due to darkness, it became too dangerous to climb the steep rocky slopes, so the team waited for daylight.

At 8:30am on Sunday, the CCMR team located the patient and his father on the slope. A Navy helicopter was requested for a hoist extraction. By 11:45am, the Navy rescue crew had arrived overhead and successfully hoisted Tristan Parrish, his father and brother to the aircraft. They were flown to Pangborn Memorial Airport in East Wenatchee. Tristan was then transported by ambulance to Confluence Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee.

CC sheriff logo 2018Sheriff Brian Burnett reports an injured climber was rescued from Mount Stuart late Tuesday evening.

At 12:28pm Tuesday, the KITTCOM emergency dispatch center in Ellensburg, WA received a 911 call from a Pete Schoepke (43yoa) who stated he had fallen approximately 100 feet while descending the Cascadian Couloir route off the southeast aspect of the mountain. Schoepke reported he had an open compound fracture to his left lower leg. He was by himself on the mountain.

The information was forwarded to Chelan County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue coordinators. A hoist capable helicopter was requested via State Emergency Management. Naval Air Base Whidbey Island accepted the mission. SAR coordinators were able to communicate with Schoepke directly via text messaging while the rescue was being organized.

Due to winds and low clouds in the area of Schoepke at the 8.645ft elevation level on the mountain, the Navy rescue crew was initially only able to insert two medic corpsman below scene who made their way to the patient. After several hours waiting for a better weather window, the Navy helicopter crew determined the weather was not clearing and it may be necessary to lower Schoepke to a more accessible location below the cloud cover. Three Chelan County Mountain Rescue CCMR) personnel were staged at Pangborn Airport in East Wenatchee. The team was picked up by the Navy rescue Blackhawk, flown to Mount Stuart and inserted to a location below the patient.