Apr 20, 2017
SISKIYOU COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REPORT
April 20, 2017
On Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at about 9:00 p.m., the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) received a tip that a vehicle matching the description of Tennessee Kidnap suspect Mr. Tad Cummins, 50, was observed in the Cecilville area of Siskiyou County. Cecilville is a small rural community located in a mountainous area of the county about 68 miles southwest of the county seat, Yreka. According to reports, a male adult and a young female were staying in a cabin off of Eddy Gulch Road in Cecilville. Deputies responded to the scene and verified that the vehicle, a 2015 Nissan Rogue, silver in color, matched the description broadcast nationwide via an Amber Alert dated March 13, 2017. The original broadcast indicated the kidnap suspect; Mr. Cummins was possibly armed with two firearms, which prompted a tactical response by the Department’s Special Response Team (SRT).
The SCSO SRT responded to the scene, established a perimeter around the cabin believed to be occupied by Mr. Cummins and his juvenile female victim and elected to wait until morning to arrest the suspect when he exited the cabin. A citizen who befriended the suspect and victim assisted SRT members at the scene. On Thursday, April 20, 2017, shortly after 9:30 a.m., Mr. Cummins exited the cabin and was taken into custody by SCSO SRT members without incident. The female victim exited the cabin and was walking behind Cummins. She was detained at the scene for her protection and to facilitate further investigation and victim services. Two loaded handguns were recovered in the cabin along with various personal items belonging to both Mr. Cummins and his female victim.
The victim appeared to be in good health and Mr. Cummins was cooperative with law enforcement authorities at the scene. Mr. Cummins was transported to the Siskiyou County Jail in Yreka and booked on a Maury County, TN fugitive arrest warrant for aggravated kidnapping. Contact has been initiated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (TBI) investigators. Memphis FBI and TBI investigators are en route to Siskiyou County to continue their on-going investigation. The kidnapping victim has been transferred to FBI Agents assigned to the Redding, CA office. She will undergo a forensic interview and as a crime victim, receive the care that she needs at this time. Mr. Cummins will be arraigned on Friday, April 21, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. Mr. Cummins also faces local charges for kidnapping and possession of stolen property. These and other charges are pending review by Siskiyou County District Attorney, Kirk Andrus.
According to Sheriff Jon Lopey, “I would like to commend the citizens that played a role in bringing Mr. Cummins’ activities to our attention, which led to a response by members of the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office. I am proud of the men and women of this Department that played a role in this potentially dangerous surveillance and arrest, especially the Special Response Team responsible for the safe and successful resolution of this 6-week ordeal. The SRT worked in freezing weather conditions but resolved this mission without anyone getting hurt, which was a good day for our Department, the female victim, and her family. Like any major crime perpetrated against a young teenager, this case is a difficult one and will plague the victim, her family, friends, and the law enforcement officers and agents involved in the case for years to come. On behalf of the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, I would like to offer our thoughts and prayers to the victim, her family, friends, and the all involved law enforcement officers and other members of the justice system as this investigation continues to achieve justice for all concerned.”
Anyone with any information about the activities of Mr. Cummins or his victim is urged to contact the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.
Apr 20, 2017
50-Year-Old Suspect Tad Cummins Apprehended, Awaiting Extradition to Tennessee
April 20, 2017
NASHVILLE – Acting on a tip received by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation late last night, authorities in Siskiyou County, California have rescued Elizabeth Thomas and arrested Tad Cummins, after locating the pair at a commune in Cecilville early this morning.
Thomas, 15, was the subject of a Tennessee AMBER Alert issued on March 14th, after having been kidnapped a day earlier by Tad Cummins, a former teacher at her school in Maury County, Tennessee. On March 17th, the TBI added the 50-year-old to the state’s ‘Top 10 Most Wanted’ list.
This morning, authorities from Siskiyou County located the Nissan Rogue in which the pair were traveling and later located the pair. Cummins surrendered without incident. Thomas was subsequently recovered by law enforcement officers. At the time of this release, efforts to reunite her with her family remained ongoing.
“Our Intelligence Analysts and Agents have worked tirelessly since issuing this AMBER Alert to process more than 1,500 leads from all 50 states,” said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. “What happened in California this morning, however, proves it only takes one person to lead to a successful end. We are extremely thankful the hard work of all partners in this search has paid off. We’re also grateful for the public’s support and vigilance throughout this search effort.”
The TBI has been assisted in this search by a variety of law enforcement agencies across the country, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Maury County Sheriff’s Department, and the Office of 22nd District Attorney General Brent Cooper.
At the time of this release, Cummins, 50, remained in the custody of the Siskiyou County (CA) Sheriff’s Department without bond, awaiting extradition to Tennessee to face charges of Sexual Contact with a Minor and Aggravated Kidnapping. A currently booking photograph was not immediately available for release.
Feb 28, 2017
February 27, 2017
On Monday, February 27, 2017, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) arrested a local man for the murder of Mr. Jesse Francis Ward, 62, a Happy Camp man found deceased and partially submerged in the Klamath River on February 20, 2017 near a residence on SR 96 west of SR 263. Mr. Jerry Merrill Corriea, 34, of Hornbrook, was arrested by members of the SCSO’s Major Crimes’ Unit (MCU) for the murder charge. Mr. Corriea was already in jail on an unrelated charge and was booked for the murder offense, which will require an arraignment within the next 48 hours. The SCSO’s MCU has been working an extensive investigation into Mr. Ward’s death since his recovery on February 20, 2017. The SCSO investigation has revealed that Mr. Ward was residing at the residence in vicinity of where his body was recovered at the time of his death.
The body was recovered from the north bank area of the river by SCSO’s Dive Team and Water Safety Unit. The case was deemed suspicious due to a variety of factors and after an autopsy was conducted on Wednesday, February 22, 2017, SCSO detectives, in consultation with the county’s criminal pathologist, coupled with additional investigative information derived from their on-going investigation, conclusively determined the cause of death and manner of death. The cause of death included injuries inflicted by one or more assailants. The manner of death was deemed a homicide, which is defined as the killing of a person by another. The charges against Mr. Corriea include murder, which is defined as the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. First degree murder includes the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought, with premeditation and deliberation.
In another development related to the murder investigation, Mr. Mark Alan Smith, 43, of Yreka, was arrested and charged with resisting, obstructing, and delaying a peace officer performing official duties and more importantly, he was arrested and booked for being an accessory after the fact. These charges were related to the on-going murder investigation and Mr. Smith was charged due to acts or omissions related to events after the murder of Mr. Ward. He is a known associate of the main suspect, Mr. Corriea.
According to Sheriff Jon Lopey, “The arrests of Mr. Corriea for the senseless murder of Mr. Ward and the arrest of Mr. Smith for being an accessory after the fact are encouraging developments in the case but we still have a lot of work to do to ensure justice is achieved for the victim, family, and People of Siskiyou County. We know there are others in the local community who know something about this case. Anyone with any information about this case is urged to contact the SCSO Major Crimes’ Unit by calling our 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.”
Feb 28, 2017
February 27, 2017
Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) investigators, in partnership with Mount Shasta Police Department (MSPD) officers, recently solved a major theft case, which involved the recovery of over one-thousand dollars’ worth of stolen property, including items stolen from various Mt. Shasta locations. The thefts also included equipment taken from a SCSO Search and Rescue (SAR) vehicle parked at the United States Forest Service (USFS) yard in Mt. Shasta. On February 23, 2017, at about 8:59 a.m., Deputy Ben Whetstine responded to the Mt. Shasta USFS office in response to a MSPD report of vehicle break-ins and thefts perpetrated in the nearby Mt. Shasta area. A MSPD investigator found some SCSO SAR property in bushes in the area, including a tool box and backpack. The MSPD investigator helped SCSO deputies identify two suspects in the stolen property and auto burglary case. The subsequent investigation reasonably substantiated the identity of thieves involved in the break-ins and thefts.
Deputy Whetstine obtained a search warrant for the residence of the main suspect and with the assistance of Deputies Deputy Sam Kubowitz, two police officers and lieutenant from MSPD, executed the search warrant at the Pine Street (Mt. Shasta) address of the suspect. Stolen property from a separate auto burglary and theft were recovered. Additionally, stolen SCSO SAR equipment stolen from the SAR vehicle were recovered, including a ICOM radio, a SAR Global Positioning System Beacon, SAR first aid kit, a Klein crimp tool, and flashlight. A Smith and Wesson .32 caliber handgun was also confiscated for safe keeping. The value of the property recovered was in excess of $1300.00.
Mr. Toketee Radabaugh, 22, of Mt. Shasta, was arrested at the residence for possession of stolen property and grand theft. Mr. Radabaugh was booked at the Siskiyou County Jail.
According to Sheriff Jon Lopey, “This was excellent police work on the part of the involved SCSO and MSPD investigators. They teamed-up to put a car burglar and thief out of business. This is a good time to remind our citizens that there has been an increase in residential and vehicle break-ins and corresponding thefts in recent months. All citizens are urged to keep their vehicles and residences locked and to report suspicious activity to your local law enforcement agency. This case is still under investigation and anyone with information about the incidents or other thefts in the Mt. Shasta area is urged to contact the SCSO’s 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900, or MSPD at (530) 926-7539. For cases involving burglaries or thefts in-progress, dial 9-1-1.”