Cowlitz Co. Sheriff's Office
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Update 2: Ruled a suicide: Pics from scene-Cowltiz Sheriff investigating deceased male found along the banks of Toutle River. (Photo) - 07/19/16

Update 2: Tuesday July 19th 4pm. This death is a suicide. The victim is a 61 year old male and the ID is pending until notification of the next of kin.
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Pics from scene- attached.

Cowlitz County: Last night (Sun) about 9:00 p.m. The Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office received a call from a man who reported finding a deceased male along the banks of the Toutle River. The caller had been riding a 4 wheeler in the area for recreation when he came upon the body.

The location is along the banks of the Toutle River about 4 miles north of Castle rock. It is fairly remote and not easily accessible. It is not near residences.

Sheriff Detectives and the Cowlitz Coroner responded and did a preliminary examination of the scene. It appears the person had not been there very long. Detectives have returned to the scene this morning to continue their investigation.

Due to the very early stages of this investigation we are not going to provide further details or make estimations about the length of time the victim has been there, or been deceased , or the cause or manner of death.

We are not speculating at this time if this is a suicide, homicide, or an accidental death.
We are not going to describe the victim with any details other than he is an adult male.

We do not believe that residents in the area should be considered for their safety.

I will send out an update after the scene investigation has been completed, which will be later this afternoon.

We do not have a date or time of an autopsy yet. That will come from the Cowlitz County Coroner's Office.

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Little "Sheriff for a Day" Still Beating the Odds (Photo) - 07/12/16

Update: It should be noted that the Sheriff stars on Noah's collar belonged to his great-grandpa, the late Sheriff Les Nelson and were presented as a gift from Sheriff Mark Nelson.

Kelso - Sheriff Mark Nelson and the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office is honoring Noah Anderson as "Sheriff" for a Day. This is a program for chronically ill children to help them and their families celebrate life. More information can be found on the Criminal Justice Training Commission website or the Chief for a Day website.

On Friday, Red Leaf Coffee in Kelso will be donating a portion of their daily receipts to Noah to help the family with associated costs for Noah an his family's well-being, both medical and personal. A Cowlitz Black Bears fundraiser is also in the works.

The Daily News published a story on Noah a couple of years ago. Since then the little "miracle" boy has continued to grow, but remains fragile in many ways. "He's a fighter and has a really great sense of humor." said Sheriff Mark Nelson. (Who is also Noah's great-uncle) "This is the first time my office and I have sponsored a child and I couldn't think of anyone more deserving, relation or not. This little boy deserves all the happy he can get."

Noah's favorite thing is SpongeBob, so Sheriff Nelson had one sewn onto Noah's uniform shirt. The just before a recent photo session, Sheriff Nelson sewed a "SpongeBob" patch on his own uniform shirt to match Noah's.

The two Sheriffs participated in the Longview 4th of July parade and plan to be in Castle Rock on Thursday for their parade, though Noah will miss the Kalama parade on Saturday due to a medical procedure on Friday that will likely keep him hospitalized, but Sheriff Nelson will be there on "Sheriff" Noah's behalf.

We appreciate everyone's support and if you would like to donate, you can send checks to "Noah Anderson-Sheriff for a Day" at 1009 N. 22nd Ave. Kelso, WA 98626 or drop them off at Cowlitz Title c/o Dyann, 1159 14th Ave. Longview, or the Sheriff' Office, 312 S.W. 1st Ave. Kelso, WA.

This is all to bring an added measure of joy to a chronically ill little boy and his family.

Arson By Fireworks-We Need Your Help - 07/07/16

Willow Grove - On July 5 at approximately 1:20 a.m. an occupied trailer caught fire while people were sleeping inside.

Witnesses reported a newer, full-size black long bed standard size truck drive west on Willow Grove Road which sits just above the Fisher Island RV Park. Someone in the vehicle lit a mortar type explosive firework and threw it down into the park. The burning explosive rolled under a trailer in space #28, exploded and set the trailer on fire. The trailer was occupied by three sleeping individuals including two adults and a nine year old boy. Fortunately, none of the occupants were injured.

The Sheriff's Office is asking the public for information on the suspects and/or suspect vehicle.

If you have information, please contact the on-duty deputy sheriff supervisor at 360-577-3092, or send an anonymous tip to Tip 411 at CCSOtips from your Android or Apple phone. Both are available from your app provider. Or, test your tip to 847411 and begin your tip with "CCSO tip".

VICTIM(s):
Renfro, Michael L. (owner)
Reed, Laura D.
Huntley, Noah G (9-year-old)


SUMMARY:
Deputies and Fire personnel responded to the Fisher Island RV Park for the report of a trailer on fire. A witness observed a newer, full-size, black, long-bed, standard cab truck driving westbound on Willow Grove. An occupant through what appeared to be a lit mortar firework down into the park. This exploded, and started the fire under the trailer at space # 28. The trailer was occupied at the time by two adults and a juvenile who were sleeping.

Bad Driver; Bad Burglar - 07/05/16

Longview, WA - Cowlitz County Sheriff's Sergeant Jeremy Tonissen was in on his second burglary arrest before noon today.

Early this morning, Sergeant Tonissen had assisted K-9 Fritz in the arrest of a burglar on Sequoia Rd. At nearly 11 a.m. today he was dispatched to a report of a single vehicle collision in the 1000 block of Coal Creek Rd. A vehicle was reported to have gone through a ditch and struck an embankment. The vehicle, a 1989 Nissan pickup, was left abandoned at the scene.

While deputies were on their way to the collision, Coal Creek resident Evelyn Plant noticed a rear door ajar to her home and a soda bottle sitting on the counter next to her sink. Suddenly, a male walked up the stairs from her basement. She yelled at him to get out and he did. He told her that he was talking to his mother on his cell phone and he was looking at Facebook when he wrecked his truck. He asked her to not call police and give him a ride to the bus station.

When Sgt. Tonissen arrived in the area he observed the suspect, later identified as 37 year old Christopher Burton of Seattle, walking on Coal Creek. When Sgt. Tonissen began to question him, he denied knowing about the wreck and then attempted to flee, throwing his identification into the ditch as he ran. Assisted by Deputy Jason Hammer, Sgt. Tonissen took chase and told Burton that if he didn't stop he would be Tased. Burton stopped and surrendered.

During the search of Burton, a unique, large bone handled knife was found in his waistband. The knife turned out to have been stolen from Ms. Plant's home.

Burton was booked in the county jail in lieu of bail.

Sheriff's K-9 "Fritz" Finds Fleeing Felon. - 07/05/16

Longview, WA - Cowlitz County Sheriffs deputies arrested a Longview man early Tuesday morning when a couple found the man in their house. Just prior to 6 a.m. Tuesday, Peter Mahnke and his wife awoke to the noise of someone trying to open their door. Mahnke went outside to look around and when he came back in there was a man in his home. While Mr. Mahnke's wife called 911, Mahnke confronted the man who had run outside. The man got aggressive and "chest bumped" Mahnke, before running off into the woods surrounding the rural home located in the 100 block of Sequoia Rd.

Deputies arrived on scene and secured the area, requesting a K-9. Deputy Brent Harris and his partner, K-9 Fritz, arrived and they began a search of the area. Fritz took Deputy Harris and Sgt. Jeremy Tonissen through some steep terrain and very thick brush for a couple of hundred yards before locating the suspect hiding in the brush.

The suspect was identified as 45 year old Todd Wesley Ross of Longview. He was positively identified by the homeowners and was arrested for 1st Degree Burglary. Ross admitted to entering the residence but said he didn't expect anyone to be home.

UPDATE: VICTIM ID: Cowlitz Sheriff recovers missing woman's body from Cowlitz River: No foul play suspected. - 06/25/16

UPDATE: #1: The Cowlitz County Coroner has identified the woman as 52 year old Catherine Marie Sellards, her residence is not known. The Cowlitz Chaplains made contact with the family and made the notification a short time ago.

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Cowlitz County: The Cowlitz Sheriff's Office got a call at about 8:00 a.m. today from a person saying that her friend was missing and she feared she may have gone in to the river and drown. Deputies searched the river bank and talked with several campers in the area. They also launched boat and found the missing woman's body at about 3:00 p.m. in the shallow part of the river just down stream from the the Tennant Way where it crosses over the Cowlitz River. They had been camping nearby.

The caller said that the victim had gone in a short distance in to the river at about 1:00 a.m. saying that the river had healing power.

There is no indications of foul play. The victims ID is being withheld pending notification of her family.

We are not releasing any further details at this time. The Cowlitz County Coroner will release the cause and manner of death when it had been determined.