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Browsing the archives for the Sheriff Jon Lopey category.

Siskiyou Sheriff’s Office Arrests Suspect for Murder of Happy Camp Man

Sheriff Jon Lopey, Siskiyou Sheriff's report

May 9, 2017

On May 9, 2017 at about 7:41 p.m., Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) detectives and members of the SCSO’s Special Response Team arrested Mr. Dakota Michael Bearquiver, 24, of Happy Camp for the murder of Mr. Benjamin Arthur Camarena, 42, also of Happy Camp.  The arrest was made in the 2500 block of Indian Creek Road in Happy Camp.  On May 4, 2017, SCSO Dive Team and Search and Rescue members located Mr. Camarena’s body in Klamath River about two miles east of Wingate, an area a few miles west of Happy Camp after an exhaustive 20-day search for the missing man.  The case has been investigated as a possible homicide from the day Mr. Camarena was reported missing on April 14, 2017, when a report was received of a body floating down Indian Creek and shortly thereafter the body was seen in the swift current floating in the Klamath River; however, the body submerged and was not immediately found even though considerable search efforts were initiated and sustained.

The SCSO’s Major Crimes Unit developed a number of investigative leads in recent days and weeks, which resulted in Mr. Bearquiver’s arrest for Mr. Camarena’s death.  The SCSO’s Special Response Team, Crisis Response Team, and additional SCSO field units responded due to the extraordinary officer safety threats that potentially existed during the arrest operation.  A CHP unit also assisted SCSO with the operation.  After the arrest, Mr. Bearquiver was transported to the Siskiyou County Jail in Yreka, where he was booked for murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and he was also booked for intimidating a witness/dissuading a witness of a crime.  He is being held without bail, pending an arraignment in the Siskiyou County Superior Court.

An exhaustive search of the Klamath River in the Happy Camp area had been conducted by SCSO SAR, SCSO Posse, SCSO Dive Team, SCSO Water Safety Unit, California Highway Patrol (CHP) Northern Division Air Operations fixed-wing and rotary wing aircraft, and, extensive assistance and support was received by Karuk, Hoopa, and Yurok tribal emergency response and various volunteer resources.  The U.S. Coast Guard, California Army National Guard, and California Office of Emergency Services also assisted with the search and recovery efforts since April 14th.

Shortly after the initial search for the suspected dead body was started, relatives of Mr. Camarena reported him missing. He was last seen in vicinity of Indian Creek in the Happy Camp area at about the time the body in the river was reported to law enforcement authorities on April 14th.

SCSO detective units have made a number of trips to Happy Camp to gather information and to interview more people who had knowledge of  Mr. Camarena’s activities in the hours and moments before his disappearance.

According to Sheriff Jon Lopey, “We are grateful that we received support from Mr. Camarena’s family and Happy Camp citizens, which helped us make tremendous progress on this case, which, when coupled with the investigative efforts of our Major Crimes Unit, resulted in Mr. Bearquiver’s arrest.  There were others, including an infant in a structure on the property, the team deployed skillfully, and Mr. Bearquiver was taken into custody without anyone getting hurt, which is always a major plus.  There were firearms in the structure as well, which presented a potential safety threat.  I would again like to extend our sincere condolences, thoughts, and prayers to the family and friends of Mr. Camarena in the aftermath of his tragic death.  They have suffered untold grief and uncertainty during this ordeal and it is a positive development that this arrest was made because it provides some answers to the family about Benjamin’s disappearance.  The many departmental members involved in this on-going, complex, difficult, and challenging investigation have worked very hard to solve this case on behalf of the victim, his family, friends, and the entire Happy Camp community.   We still have a lot of work to do on this case and anyone with any information about Mr. Camarena’s case is urged to contact the SCSO’s 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.”

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Siskiyou Sheriff’s Sergeant & Deputy Recover Stolen Trailer & Modular Home Valued at $38,000

Sheriff Jon Lopey, Siskiyou Sheriff's report

May 8, 2017

 

On May 6th and 7th, 2017 the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) investigated a possible stolen trailer and modular home that was allegedly located in vicinity of Dangel Lane and Quartz Valley Road in the unincorporated area of Scott Valley.  The vehicle and modular home were located and it was determined the trailer and modular home were stolen from Red Bluff, CA on May 5, 2017.  On May 7, 2017, a deputy and sergeant responded to recover and investigate the theft of the modular home, valued at $38,000.00.  The trailer and modular home were located in a driveway in the 12000 block of Dangel Lane in vicinity of Quartz Valley Road.  While the SCSO Deputy and Sergeant were investigating the theft, which was previously confirmed by running the vehicle identification number, a suspect was identified.  Mr. Chance T. Henson, 41, of Fort Jones was found to have a vehicle matching the description of the pick-up observed towing the stolen trailer and modular home from the Red Bluff location to Scott Valley.  Additional evidence was also secured at two locations.  The suspect’s explanation for how he acquired the trailer and modular home, which he claimed he purchased from another party, could not be reasonably substantiated.  During the investigation, a small quantity of heroin and paraphernalia were also located.

Mr. Henson was arrested for possession of stolen property, vehicle theft, possession of a controlled substance (heroin), and possession of drug paraphernalia (hypodermic and syringe).  He was transported to and booked at the Siskiyou County Jail in Yreka.  According to Sheriff Jon Lopey, “We are fortunate this vehicle trailer and modular home, valued at $38,000.00, were recovered.  We are also thankful a suspicious citizen reported their initial observations, which led to the investigation and recovery of the valuable property and arrest of a suspect for serious auto-theft, possession of stolen property, and drug offenses.  Anyone with any information about this incident is urged to contact the SCSO’s 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.”

 

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Sheriff’s Office Identifies Body Recovered in Happy Camp Area

Sheriff Jon Lopey, Siskiyou Sheriff's report

May 5, 2017

Link with Missing Happy Camp Man Confirmed

 

On May 5, 2017 at about 10:00 a.m., the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office’s (SCSO) Chief Deputy Coroner positively identified the body recovered on May 4, 2017 in the Klamath River as that of a missing Happy Camp man, Mr. Benjamin Arthur Camarena, 42 years-of-age.  On May 4, 2017 at about 2:05 p.m. members of the SCSO’s Dive Team located Mr. Camarena’s body in the Klamath River about two miles east of Wingate, in the Happy Camp area. SCSO Dive and Search and Rescue (SAR) members removed the body from the river and the body was transported to Yreka.  The case is being investigated as a possible homicide, but the official determination of a cause and manner of death are pending an autopsy and further investigation.  The autopsy will be conducted next week.

The SCSO has been searching for a body last seen in the Klamath River at the Indian Creek Access point since Friday, April 14, 2017.  On Friday, April 14, 2017, at about 6:34 p.m. SCSO received a citizen’s report of a possible dead body floating in Indian Creek in the Happy Camp area.  A search by SCSO and California Highway Patrol (CHP) units failed to locate the body as it entered the Klamath River access point.  The Klamath River and other tributaries have been flowing rapidly and have been muddy due to recent snow run-off and intermittent rains and water levels are seasonally high.  An exhaustive search of the area has been conducted by SCSO SAR, SCSO Posse, SCSO Dive Team, SCSO Water Safety Unit, CHP Northern Division Air Operations fixed-wing and rotary wing aircraft, and, extensive assistance and support has been received by Karuk, Hoopa, and Yurok tribal emergency response and various volunteer resources.  The U.S. Coast Guard, California Army National Guard, and California Office of Emergency Services also assisted with the search and recovery efforts since April 14th.

In recent days, the SCSO’s SAR Team, SCSO Water Safety Unit, SCSO Dive Team, SCSO Posse members, SCSO Major Crimes Unit, and SCSO field units and other SCSO personnel conducted a large-scale search effort supported by numerous local, state, federal, and tribal organizations and volunteers.  The CHP made several fly-overs of the area with fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft in an effort to locate the body.  CHP Air Operations units are assigned to the CHP’s Northern Division in Redding.

Shortly after the initial search for the suspected dead body was started, relatives of Mr. Camarena reported him missing. He was last seen in vicinity of Indian Creek in the Happy Camp area at about the time the body in the river was reported to law enforcement authorities on April 14th.

SCSO detective units have made a number of trips to Happy Camp to gather information and to interview more people who may know what Mr. Camarena was doing in the hours and moments before his disappearance. SCSO investigators have classified his disappearance as “suspicious” and until the investigation dictates otherwise, the case will be continue to be handled as a possible homicide.

According to Sheriff Jon Lopey, “On behalf of the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, I would like to extend our sincere condolences, thoughts, and prayers to the family and friends of Mr. Camarena in the aftermath of his tragic death.  I would also like to thank the Camarena family and friends for being so helpful and supportive during this on-going search effort.  I would like to again thank all of the federal, state, and local agencies, volunteers, and tribal members from the Karuk, Yurok, and Hoopa Tribes whose assistance and support truly went ‘above and beyond’ during this search operation.  This case is still being investigated and we have more work to do to find out what happened to Mr. Camarena.  Anyone with any information about Mr. Camarena’s case is urged to contact the SCSO’s 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.”

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Sheriff’s Office Identifies Dead Body Found in Mt. Shasta Area

Sheriff Jon Lopey, Siskiyou Sheriff's report

May 5, 2017

 

Cause and Manner of Death Still Under Investigation

 

Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) investigators have identified the body found deceased in the Mt. Shasta area on May 4, 2017 as Ms. Kelli Renee Lefevre, 47, of Mt. Shasta.  On May 4, 2017, at about 10:58 a.m., a SCSO deputy discovered Ms. Lefevre deceased in her home in the 500 block of Big Canyon Drive, in the unincorporated area of Mt. Shasta.  Although there were no immediate signs of a struggle or foul play, the case is being handled as a possible homicide.  Detectives from the SCSO’s Major Crimes Unit responded to the scene and have continued an investigation into the case during the last two days.  An autopsy has been performed but the cause and manner of death in the case is still pending further investigation and the analysis of post-mortem tests.

According to Sheriff Jon Lopey, “On behalf of the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, I’d like to extend our thoughts, prayers, and condolences to Ms. Lefevre, her family, and friends in the aftermath of her untimely death.  Anyone with any information about this incident is urged to contact the SCSO’s 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.”

 

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Sheriff’s Office Recovers Body from Klamath River in Happy Camp Area

Sheriff Jon Lopey, Siskiyou Sheriff's report

Link with Missing Happy Camp Man Under Investigation

 

On May 4, 2017 at about 2:05 p.m. the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) Search and Rescue (SAR) Coordinator, Deputy Mike Burns, reported that he located the body of a deceased adult in the Klamath River about two miles upriver (east of) Wingate, in the Happy Camp area.  The body has not been identified and it unknown if it is the body of a man last seen floating in the Klamath River on April 14th.  The SCSO has been searching for a body last seen in the Klamath River at the Indian Creek Access point since Friday, April 14, 2017.  On Friday, April 14, 2017, at about 6:34 p.m. SCSO received a citizen’s report of a possible dead body floating in Indian Creek in the Happy Camp area.  A SCSO deputy arrived at the 2nd Avenue Bridge and observed what appeared to be the body of a heavy-set male adult floating in the river in swift-moving water.  A search by SCSO and California Highway Patrol (CHP) units failed to locate the body as it entered the Klamath River access point.  The Klamath River and other tributaries have been flowing rapidly and are muddy due to recent snow run-off and intermittent rains and water levels are very high.  An exhaustive search of the area has been conducted by SCSO SAR, Posse, CHP Northern Division Air Operations fixed-wing and rotary wing aircraft, and, extensive assistance and support has been received by Karuk, Hoopa, and Yurok tribal emergency response and various volunteer resources.  The U.S. Coast Guard, California Army National Guard, and California Office of Emergency Services also assisted with the search and recovery efforts implemented since April 14th.

In recent days, the SCSO’s Search and Rescue (SAR) team, SCSO Water Safety Unit, SCSO Dive Team, SCSO Posse members, SCSO Major Crimes Unit, and SCSO field units and other SCSO personnel have supported the on-going search effort.  A SCSO boat, Dive Team, and SAR leader have recovered the body from the river and it is being transported to Yreka.  The body recovery is being handled by investigators as a possible homicide.  The CHP has also made recent fly-overs of the area with fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft in an effort to locate the body.

Shortly after the initial search for the suspected dead body was started, relatives of a Happy Camp man reported him missing.  At this time, it is unknown if the body recovered from the Klamath River by SCSO Dive and SAR personnel is that of Mr. Benjamin Arthur Camarena, 42, of Happy Camp.  He was last seen in the Indian Creek area in the Happy Camp area at about the time the body in the river was reported on April 14th.

SCSO detective units have made a number of trips to Happy Camp to gather information and to interview more people who may have known what Mr. Camarena was doing in the hours and moments before his disappearance. SCSO investigators have classified his disappearance as “suspicious” and have not ruled out any investigative conclusions surrounding his absence from the local community, and the case is being handled as a possible homicide.

According to Sheriff Jon Lopey, “I am saddened that we have recovered the body of a deceased adult in the Klamath River but the recovery of the decedent should afford us the opportunity to determine whether or not the body is that of Mr. Camarena and we will have the opportunity to determine the cause and manner of death of the adult we have found, which, should provide important answers for this agency and the decedent’s family and friends.  I know family and friends of Mr. Camarena are very concerned and we share those concerns as well.  We will do all we can to positively identify the body found and provide answers to the family members of the decedent as soon as possible.  An autopsy will be performed within the next few days to help investigators determine the cause and manner of death in this case.  I am grateful that the SCSO specialized and field units; SCSO volunteers such and the SAR and Posse, CHP, U.S. Coast Guard, California Army National Guard, U.S. Forest Service, Karuk, Yurok, and Hoopa Tribal emergency response personnel, family members, and volunteers have been willing to assist with this important 20-day search operation.  Anyone with any information about the dead body or anyone with information about Mr. Camarena’s disappearance is urged to contact the SCSO’s 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.”

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Sheriff’s Office Deputy Arrests Wanted “Armed & Dangerous” Suspect

Sheriff Jon Lopey, Siskiyou Sheriff's report

SISKIYOU COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE NEWS UPDATE

 

April 22, 2017

A Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) arrested a dangerous felon on April 22, 2017 in the town of Dorris.  The suspected, Mr. Bailey Henry, 19, has been wanted after he was involved in a potentially deadly shooting in a Sacramento mall on March 8, 2017.  On Friday, April 21, 2017, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) received information from Sacramento Police Department (SPD) about a suspect wanted in a potentially deadly shooting involving multiple shots fired in the Arden Fair Mall.  The shooting resulted in the wounding of one man in the arm and another innocent bystander was injured by shattered glass and debris on March 8th.  According to SPD detectives, the man was suspected to be hiding in Siskiyou County.  The SCSO Major Crimes Unit began an investigation and SPD and SCSO detectives linked the suspect to a Dorris home.  A Major Crimes Unit “Be on the Lookout – Armed and Dangerous” bulletin was disseminated to all Siskiyou County and regional law enforcement officers.  On Saturday, April 22, 2017, at about 12:47 p.m., Deputy Gary Pannell was on patrol in the Dorris area when he observed a man matching the fugitive’s description in the vicinity of  3rd Street and Oregon Street in the City of Dorris.  Deputy Pannell soon discovered that the man was indeed the wanted suspect and took him into custody without incident.

According to Sheriff Jon Lopey, “This suspect was wanted in a major shooting case that involved a potentially deadly shooting in one of the busiest malls in Sacramento.  The arrest of a Tennessee fugitive on Thursday, April 20th by the SCSO’s Special Response Team and the arrest of a dangerous fugitive like Mr. Henry on April 22nd again illustrates the fact that all peace officers in Siskiyou County and elsewhere face dangers every day on the job and no shift can be considered routine. Thus far during 2017, 39 line-of-duty deaths of peace officers have occurred in the United States, a +15 percent increase over this time during 2016.  It is also apparent that some dangerous fugitives seek rural areas within which to hide, thinking themselves safe from scrutiny, which was proven wrong this week on two occasions, thanks to  alert, professional, and brave peace officers.  Deputy Pannell’s actions were courageous and his arrest of the suspect was a good piece of police work.”

Anyone with any information about the suspect, Mr. Bailey Henry, his associates, or activities since his arrival in Siskiyou County is urged to contact the SCSO’s Major Crimes Unit by calling SCSO’s 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.

 

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Sheriff’s Office Search for Suspected Dead Body in Klamath River Update

Sheriff Jon Lopey, Siskiyou Sheriff's report

SISKIYOU COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE NEWS UPDATE

 

April 22, 2017

Link With Missing Happy Camp Man Seems More Likely but Unconfirmed

 

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) continues searching for a body last seen floating in the Klamath River on April 14th.  The SCSO has been searching for a body last seen in the Klamath River at the Indian Creek Access point since Friday, April 14th and no sign of the body has been found.  On Friday, April 14, 2017, at about 6:34 p.m. SCSO received a citizen’s report of a possible dead body floating in Indian Creek in the Happy Camp area.  A SCSO deputy arrived at the 2nd Avenue Bridge and observed what appeared to be the body of a heavy-set male adult floating in the river in swift-moving water.  A search by SCSO and California Highway Patrol (CHP) units failed to locate the body as it entered the Klamath River access point.  The Klamath River and other tributaries have been flowing rapidly and are muddy due to recent snow run-off and intermittent rains and water levels are very high.

On Saturday, April 15, 2017, in the early morning hours, a search by SCSO field and specialized units was initiated in the Klamath River area at a point where the body was last seen.  A fixed-wing aircraft from the CHP’s Northern Division conducted an aerial search of the area with negative results.  The SCSO’s Search and Rescue (SAR) team, SCSO Water Safety Unit, SCSO Dive Team, and other SCSO personnel responded and supported the search effort.  On Sunday, April 16th, a CHP helicopter searched the immediate area with negative results.  As of Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 7:00 p.m., there has been no sign of the body detected by search personnel.  A SCSO boat crew and SAR leader previously searched an area several miles downstream from the Happy Camp area with negative results.  Search conditions have been hazardous, the water levels remain high, and the water is moving swiftly along the Klamath River.  Muddy water is also adversely affecting search efforts; however, water levels have gone down during this week’s search operation an estimated one foot.

Shortly after the search for the suspected dead body was initiated, relatives of a Happy Camp man reported him missing.  At this time, it is unknown for certain if he is the man observed in the water by citizens and law enforcement personnel but he has not been located since his disappearance and it is more likely, but again, not substantiated, that he may be the man observed floating in the river.  Mr. Benjamin Arthur Camarena, 42, of Happy Camp, was last seen riding his horse on Indian Creek Road in the Happy Camp area at about the time the body in the river was reported.  The horse was later found without its rider, reported to be Mr. Camarena.

On Wednesday, April 19, 2017, SCSO leaders contacted the California Office of Emergency Services (OES) and additional aerial support was obtained from the U.S. Coast Guard, which conducted an overflight of the river from the coast eastward to the Happy Camp area.  During the week up to Friday, April 21st, the CHP and California Army National Guard have used air assets to search the Klamath River.  Unfortunately, the body was not located.  SCSO also coordinated support from the Humboldt, Del Norte County Sheriffs’ Offices, and Yurok and Hoopa public safety officials and they were asked to conduct searches and be on the lookout for the body along the Klamath River traversing their respective jurisdictions.  Karuk Tribal authorities in Happy Camp acquired the services of Hoopa and Yurok law enforcement and fire rescue personnel and they responded to Happy Camp on the Wednesday to assist with the search.

They brought watercraft and ground search personnel, which were integrated into the search efforts underway by the SCSO field, water safety, Dive Team, SAR, and Posse personnel.  Additionally, another Water Safety Unit and Dive Team crew were dispatched to the Klamath River to conduct additional sweeps of the Klamath River in hopes that the body could be located. SCSO detective units also again responded to Happy Camp to gather information and to interview more people who may know what Mr. Camarena was doing in the hours and moments before his disappearance. SCSO investigators have classified his disappearance suspicious and have not ruled out any investigative conclusions surrounding his absence from the local community.  On Friday, April 21st, a SCSO Water Safety boat captain traversed 6.25 miles of the river during an exhaustive search.  Karuk, Yurok, and Hoopa Tribal officials and members continued assisting with the search effort. Additional assets will be deployed over the weekend and next week if the body is not found.

According to Sheriff Jon Lopey, “I am again saddened that we have not recovered the body we suspect to be in the Klamath River but we will continue a diligent effort to accomplish this vital mission.    It is important that we recover the body we suspect to be in the river as soon as possible.  I know family and friends of Mr. Camarena are very concerned and we share those concerns as well.  I am grateful that the CHP, SCSO specialized and field units; SCSO Volunteers such and the Posse and SAR, U.S. Coast Guard, California Army National Guard, Karuk, Yurok, and Hoopa Tribal emergency response and volunteers have been willing to assist with this important search operation.  A CHP helicopter has also been requested for a search within the next few days and we continue to surge forward with our search efforts.  While the fate of Mr. Camarena cannot be confirmed, the investigation is exploring every conceivable reason for his disappearance.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his many family members and friends as this search and investigation continues.  Anyone with any information about the suspected dead body or anyone with information about Mr. Camarena’s whereabouts or his activities prior to his disappearance is urged to contact the SCSO’s 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.”

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Kidnapped teen girl and Tenn. school teacher found in Siskiyou County

Sheriff Jon Lopey

PNP comment: There is a video from Good Morning America ABC on the link below. Good work Siskiyou County Sheriff’s department!!! — Editor Liz Bowen

Man who tipped off authorities about missing Tenn. student Elizabeth Thomas describes ‘clues’

Yahoo.com

The man who tipped off authorities and led them to a former Tennessee teacher accused of kidnapping his 15-year-old student said today there were “clues” that made him suspicious of the pair.

Griffin Barry came across Elizabeth Thomas and her alleged abductor, 50-year-old Tad Cummins, at a gas station in far northern California this week.

Cummins told Barry, a caretaker on a property that includes the gas station, that they needed money for gas, food and a place to stay. Cummins said their names were John and Joanna and that the teen was 24, Barry told ABC News today.

Barry said he paid to fuel up their car, gave them an extra $40 in cash and set them up in a nearby cabin on the remote property in Cecilville, a rural area near the Oregon border with little to no cellphone service. Barry is a resident on the same property.

Cummins and Elizabeth stayed inside the tiny cabin for two nights, he said, with no running water or electricity.

During that time, Barry said, he didn’t talk to the pair much but he noticed Cummins tried to “keep her away.”

“The girl wasn’t really looking at me or anything and he was always dominating the conversation. That kind of clues people in,” Barry said today on ABC News’ “Good Morning America.”

“I had a photo of him that was the Amber Alert and I was like, that’s definitely the guy, and then we saw the car as well and it matched up,” he added.

After realizing who they were, Barry said he immediately called 911.

Elizabeth had been missing since Cummins allegedly kidnapped her on March 13. A day after they disappeared, he was fired from his teaching job at Culleoka Unit School in Culleoka, Tennessee, where Elizabeth had been a student in his forensics class.

Cummins was wanted on allegations of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor. The former teacher was also added to Tennessee’s 10 most wanted list. Meanwhile, an Amber Alert had been issued for Elizabeth.

Authorities arrest Cummins

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) public information officer Josh Devine said they received a call to their tip line about a possible sighting of the duo around 11 p.m. local time Wednesday. The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department in California had received a similar tip, Devine said.

After investigators located a Nissan Rogue, they were able to confirm through its vehicle identification number that it belonged to Cummins. The car was then kept under surveillance for several hours.

Authorities from the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department found the pair at the isolated cabin early Thursday morning, nearly 2,500 miles away from their homes in Tennessee. Deputies set up a perimeter around the cabin and elected to wait until the morning to arrest Cummins as he exited the residence, according to the sheriff’s department.

As daylight broke, Cummins surrendered without incident and Elizabeth was safely recovered by law enforcement officers, according to the TBI. Two loaded handguns were found in the cabin, according to the sheriff’s department.

“Our intelligence analysts and agents have worked tirelessly since issuing this AMBER Alert to process more than 1,500 leads from all 50 states,” TBI director Mark Gwyn said in a statement Thursday. “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.”

Speaking with “GMA” on Friday morning, authorities from the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department said it was “an intense situation.”

“After we placed them into protective custody, she was laughing, she was crying. She was kind of an emotional roller coaster, as you can imagine,” Lt. Behr Tharsing said.

Tharsing told “GMA” that Cummins made some “spontaneous statements” after his arrest, telling law enforcement officers he was armed but not dangerous and would fully cooperate. Cummins also told authorities he was “relieved” the incident had come to an end, Tharsing said.

Sheriff Jon Lopey credited Barry for his role in securing the arrest, saying it was a “great partnership” between a citizen and law enforcement.

“We may not have detected Mr. Cummins had he not brought his presence to our attention. He helped us tremendously,” Lopey told “GMA.”

“Griffin definitely was pivotal in this event.”

Authorities had initially said Cummins was arrested at a commune in rural Siskiyou County but later clarified that the arrest occurred at a cabin.

A worker at Black Bear Ranch told ABC News that Cummins and Elizabeth had tried to stay at the commune but were turned away because of “all kinds of indications” that something was off about them. Cummins became angry when they were rejected, the worker said.

MORE

https://gma.yahoo.com/man-tipped-off-authorities-missing-tenn-student-elizabeth-113550548–abc-news-topstories.html#

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Interstate Kidnapping Suspect Apprehended: Teenage Victim Safe

Sheriff Jon Lopey, Siskiyou Sheriff's report

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.

 

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Missing teenager Elizabeth Thomas found safe in California

Sheriff Jon Lopey

A Tennessee teacher and the teenage former student he was suspected of kidnapping were found in Northern California on Thursday, ending a manhunt that stretched on for more than a month, The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced.

Tad Cummins, 50, was arrested and 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas was “safely recovered,” TBI tweeted. Officials planned a news conference scheduled for 4 p.m. ET.

“Gathering as many details as possible to share,” TBI wrote in a tweet.

Cummins and Thomas disappeared on March 13, sparking a cross-country manhunt made all the more difficult as Cummins apparently changed his appearance and may have switched out the license plate on the vehicle he was driving, according to reports. Court papers filed recently in the girl’s disappearance showed she was afraid of the teacher and thought she would face repercussions at school if she resisted him.

Investigators were flooded with thousands of tips from the public as the case gained national attention.

Cummins was fired from his job amid an investigation into alleged inappropriate contact with Thomas.

Cummins and Thomas wrote emails to each other and saved them as drafts in a folder of Cummins’ high school email account, Maury County District Attorney Brent Cooper told WAAY earlier this month, indicating the pair had a “romantic” relationship.

“They would write the message and let it save as a draft,” Cooper said. “The other person would log in, read the message and then delete it and then write another message that was saved as a draft.”

He added: “If you read them you would immediately recognize you are reading messages between two people who have a romantic interest in each other.”

One of the email drafts shared with WAAY begins with Cummins telling Thomas that he “saw you standing next to you [sic] backpack this morning.”

“And [Cummins] makes a reference to a body part of hers and how nice that looked,” Maury County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Marcus Alright said.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/04/20/tad-cummins-elizabeth-thomas-found-in-california.html

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