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FBI assists in local sex abuse investigation and arrest

By Coos County Sheriff’s Office,

2023-03-14

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On July 31, 2022 the Coos County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center received a report of the sexual abuse of a (14) year old female. Sgt. S. Moore conducted an initial investigation and the report was then forwarded to Det. D. Ritz.

The suspect was identified as Willard V. Cowan (60) years of age of Coos Bay. During the course of the investigation several interviews were conducted, and an enormous amount of follow-up was completed.

Due to this investigation by Det. Ritz he applied for and was granted a search warrant to search Mr. Cowan’s home for the evidence of the reported sexual abuse and other crimes, related to this investigation. The search warrant was executed at Mr. Cowan’s residence, east of Coos Bay on August 17, 2022 where evidence pertaining to the reported crime and others was seized.

As the investigation continued, Det. Ritz contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who assisted with searching the electronic equipment seized during the search warrant. The electronic equipment was found to have been used in the additional crime of Encouraging Child Abuse in the First Degree.

The FBI obtained an arrest warrant for Willard V. Cowan on Federal Charges, relating to this investigation. On March 9th, 2023 FBI Agents responded to Coos County, assisted by Det. Ritz and Sgt. Clayburn where they located and arrested Mr. Cowan on the Federal arrest warrant.

Reports have been completed by Sheriff’s Office Staff and local charges against MR. Cowan, also relating to this investigation are expected in the near future.

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