CRIME & SAFETY
Weekly Safety Report: Car Fire and Suicidal Individual Handled in Longview, Washington
Two incidents occurred in Longview, Washington this week. In the first incident, a crashed car was found burning at the base of a 20-foot embankment. Firefighters quickly extinguished the flames but found no one inside the vehicle. The second incident involved a person threatening suicide who arrived at the Cowlitz County Humane Society armed. Longview police responded and successfully calmed the situation.
More Deputies: CCSO to provide 24-hour county coverage
Columbia County will see 24-hour patrol coverage by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) beginning Dec. 15, according to Sheriff Brian Pixley. “This will be the first time in over 25 years that the Sheriff’s Office has had the resources to deliver 24/7 patrol coverage in Columbia County,” Pixley said in the statement. “The Sheriff’s Office will be able to provide better service to the residents of Columbia County and make our county a safer place to live, work, and recreate.” ...
Death in confinement: Bryan Lee Miles died after breakfast at Columbia County Jail
Since 2020, three people have died in Columbia County’s jail. Bryan Lee Miles died in January. But for months, authorities resisted the Pamplin Media Group’s attempts to get information about how he died. On Jan. 11, deputies found 55-year-old Miles unresponsive in his cell. After several months of investigating, the Oregon State Police told Pamplin Media Group that Miles had died from natural causes. ...
Column: Sheriff responds to Spotlight article
Columbia County Neighbors, There are several inaccuracies in the Spotlight’s recent article “Death in Confinement” that I feel must be addressed. The first inaccuracy I need to clarify pertains to the cause of death of Brian Lee Miles. I emailed Ms. Biggers on November 1, 2023, informing her that the Oregon State Medical Examiner listed the cause of death for Mr. Miles as natural causes—a far stretch from “died of causes that remain unclear” that the Spotlight’s article reported. ...
Tragic Fire in Kelso Claims Lives of Three Dogs, Displaces Resident
A serene Monday evening was disrupted by a harrowing fire in Kelso, Washington, when flames tore through a motorhome, resulting in the deaths of three dogs and leaving a woman without a home. The incident unfolded in the 100 block of Parker Place, shortly after 11:20 p.m. Emergency services, including Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue and Cowlitz County Fire District #6, were quick to the scene, where their swift action contained the blaze within ten minutes and prevented a larger disaster.
Nurse Denied Licenses After String of Crimes in OR & WA
A Cowlitz County nurse accused of felony crimes in Oregon and Washington has now lost her license in both states, the Washington Department of Health reports. According to the Department of Health (DOH), the Board of Nursing denied Melissa L. Gibson's petition to reinstate her registered nurse license in October after she returned from Oregon where she was also denied a license to practice nursing for undisclosed crimes committed in Washington.
Blotter: Rainier Police Reports
The police blotter relates to the public record of incidents as reported by law enforcement agencies. All individuals arrested or charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Information printed is preliminary and subject to change. For specific details about cases listed, contact the appropriate law enforcement agency. Rainier Police Department ...
Bull Elk Poached in Southwest Washington
Below is a Facebook post from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police. For 2023-2025, Fiocchi partnered with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to increase the visibility of poaching incidents in an effort to reduce poaching. WDFW Police are seeking assistance from the community to solve an elk poaching...
Suspect arrested in carjacking, shooting
PORTLAND, Ore. — A man was taken into custody Monday, accused of a crime spree that spanned three counties. Police say it all started around 8:40 a.m. when the suspect carjacked a man near Southwest 9th and Alder. Officers tracked the car to Washington County using the vehicle’s GPS....
Scappoose auto employees and witness attempted to stop carjacking suspect before he got onto Highway 30, court docs say
PORTLAND, Ore. — The man accused of committing multiple crimes spanning several counties on Monday — including carjacking and shooting at a person — pleaded not guilty to charges during his court appearance Wednesday. The defendant, Buokuoth John Chuol, pleaded not guilty to all three charges: unlawful...
Alleged car theft suspect arrested after victim tracked stolen vehicle with laptop
COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ore. — A robbery suspect was arrested after the victim used a laptop to track the location of his stolen car, the Columbia County Sheriff's Office reports. On November 20, 2023, Washington County issued an Attempt to Locate (ATL) for a robbery suspect who had stolen a car in Portland, the CCSO reports.
Death in confinement: Bryan Dearden took his own life at Columbia County Jail after warning signs
Since 2020, three people have died in Columbia County’s jail. On June 10, 2021, Columbia County Jail deputies found 54-year-old Bryan Dearden dead of apparent suicide in his cell, hours after his lawyer reportedly informed jail staff he was at risk. As the details unfolded, Dearden’s sister, Diane Hancock, began to see a case for misconduct and negligence. ...
Missing: Law enforcement searching for two Knappa juveniles
On November 14th, 2023 at approximately 5:30 p.m., Penny Lyles and Jonathan Stockle left Knappa, Oregon area after a confrontation with family. Penny Lyles and Jonathan Stockle are believed to be traveling a Grey colored 1998 Toyota Rav4, OR plate 547HRL. The last known locations for Penny Lyles and Jonathan Stockle were in Clatsop and Columbia County, Oregon. Penny Lyles and Jonathan Stockle maybe outside of the State of Oregon as they both have ties to Missouri. Jonathan Stockle may possibly be concerned about getting arrested and is trying to evade Law Enforcement. At this time, Law Enforcement does not plan to arrest Jonathan Stockle. There have been reports through social media the kids are safe and talking with family, this information is untrue as of 11/19/23. If you have any information about Penny Lyles or Jonathan Stockle whereabouts, please contact Clatsop County Dispatch (503-325-2061) and ask to speak with a deputy.
Dog duct-taped and shot in the head in Cowlitz County adopted by rescuer
A dog that PUD crews in Cowlitz County found with a gunshot wound to the head and a duct-taped mouth on Nov. 2 now has a forever home with one of the men who rescued him.
Incident at Beaver Dock narrowly avoids oil spill into Columbia
A vessel that strayed from its course while traveling upriver collided with the Beaver Dock near Clatskanie, nearly resulting in the spill of thousands of gallons of oil into the Columbia River. The Port of Columbia County released a statement in response to the event:. "The morning of Nov. 12,...
Washington's ‘Net Nanny’ Sting: 15 Predators Apprehended in Operation Targeting Child Exploitation
In a significant triumph against child exploitation, the collaborative efforts of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in Southwest Washington resulted in the arrest of 15 individuals.
Longview Fire Department Urges Residents to Monitor Holiday Cooking for Fire Safety
The Longview Fire Department reminds residents of fire safety's importance, especially during holidays. Fire Marshal Jon Dunaway emphasized that home cooking fires are most common on Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas Day and Eve. He identified unattended cooking as the main cause of these fires, accounting for over half of all home fires and nearly 40% of related injuries.
Former Toutle Lake janitor pleads guilty after relationship with middle schooler
A 20-year-old Silver Lake man pleaded guilty Wednesday to having a sexual relationship with a middle school student while he was working as a janitor at the Toutle Lake School District in 2022.