Cowlitz Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Releases
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.

-----------------Previous release below -----------------

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.

Woman jumps in Cowlitz River in escape attempt, but quickly returns to bank: now in custody - 06/23/16

Cowlitz County (Kelso) - Wash - at about 9:00 a.m. a 20 year old woman same to the office of offender services to submit to a drug test as part of the condition of her release was told she was going to be taken in to custody after admitting to using cocaine. She immediately ran from the Hall of Justice; Cowlitz Sheriff Sgt. Jeremy Tonissen and Deputy Jones were in the lobby and gave chance. The woman, Codi L. Jacobs, ran out the door, down the steps and drove in to the Cowlitz River a few feet away. The water is very cold this time of year and the woman quickly decided coming back to the bank was a better idea. We are thankful for that decision. She was booked in to jail without further complications for violations of the conditions of her release. There are not other new charges.

We do not have info on her past convictions as this time or her city of residence.

We do not have photos of this event.

Attached is Hall of Justice video of the woman running out of the building. There is no audio. There are no exterior images or video.

Attached Media Files: Woman running
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Excavator_2.jpg
Cowlitz Sheriff Deputies recover $110k stolen excavator after citizen sees report on the news. (Photo) - 06/20/16

Cowlitz County -- Kelso -- (Saturday June 18th) Cowlitz Sheriff Deputies recovered an excavator hours after the theft was reported on Portland News KPTV (Fox12). They also arrested a 56 year old Castle Rock man for theft of the excavator and the machine has since been returned to its owner.
The investigating began when a resident in the Lexington area called the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office and reported that there was an excavator near his home that looked like it was the same one that was reported as stolen and featured on KPTV.com news.
Cowlitz Deputy Sheriff Aguilar responded to the site and noticed that the ignition on the excavator was punched and the company logo had been scraped off with a wire brush. A check of the serial number confirmed the machine was stolen and that it was owned by Thompson Brothers excavating out of Ridgefield. The machine is a 2016 Link Belt model valued at $110.000.00.

Deputies learned the machine was brought there by a Castle Rock man, Dale E. Nease. When questioned, Nease had several different stories of how he got the machine. He sold it to his ex-father-in-law Dan W. Hatfield, 55 years of Milwaukee, Oregon on a contract. It does not appear that Hatfield knew the excavator was stolen.

Nease was arrested and booked in the jail for Theft 1st degree (Felony) and Trafficking Stolen Property (Felony. He is being held in the Cowlitz County jail on no bail. Contact the Cowlitz Superior Court for questions regarding court appearances.

Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to call Deputy Ness Aguilar at (360) 577-3092.

Attached Media Files: Excavator_2.jpg
Drug Task Force Arrests Two - 06/10/16

On 06-09-2016 the Cowlitz Wahkiakum Narcotics Task Force with the assistance of Kelso Police Department, Longview Police Department, Wahkiakum County Sheriff, Washington State Patrol, Washington State Department of Corrections and the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office served two drug related search warrants at 104 West Canyonview Drive, Longview and 2352 50th Avenue, Longview.

Detectives arrested 38 YOA Christopher A.Whitson and 65 YOA Gayle L.Kessinger. Charges include Delivery of controlled substances within a school zone, possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, possession of heroin with intent to deliver, possession of LSD with intent to deliver, Possession of Oxycodone, Possession of Hydrocodone, Possession of Oxycontin, possession of Morphine and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.

Seized in the search warrants was approximately one pound of methamphetamine, 7.6 grams of heroin, over 100 pills, a revolver, and three vehicles and over $5000.00 in cash. The investigation continues and more arrests are expected.

Drug Task Force Arrests Two - 06/07/16

On 05-31-2016 The Cowlitz Wahkiakum Narcotics Task Force with assistance from Longview Street Crimes arrested 37 year old Vargas-Jasso, Salvador and 24 year old Nichole Williams. Both were wanted for multiple controlled deliveries of a controlled substance. The Task Force recovered close to half of a pound of heroin. This is an ongoing investigation and more arrests are expected. The street value of the drugs is approximately $8000.00

Cowlitz Sheriff announces new drug dog and the retirement of another. - 06/06/16

Please see the attached media release by Cowlitz Sheriff Mark Nelson announcing the new Drug Dog "Kelo". The notice also includes a information on the retirement of K9 "Annie".

Attached Media Files: New Drug Dog
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Cowlitz Sheriff Nelson Elected President of Washington State Sheriffs' Association (Photo) - 06/03/16

Kelso, WA -- At the May meeting of the Washington State Sheriff's Association, Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson was elected President of the Washington State Sheriffs' Association. Sheriff Nelson has served the past four years as the secretary/treasurer and vice-president of the association. The term of office is two (2) years.

"This is an wonderful honor," Sheriff Nelson said. "I have great respect and admiration for these men and to be elected to serve the Sheriffs, the State of Washington and Cowlitz County in this capacity is humbling and exciting; I am blessed."

The Washington State Sheriffs' Association was formed in 1984, back when Sheriff Mark Nelson's father, the late Sheriff Les Nelson, was Sheriff of Cowlitz County. The sheriffs joined together in order to improve and provide effective service and protection to all citizens of Washington and allows the sheriffs to assist each other in fulfilling their duties and obligations to the people of this state as the chief law enforcement officer of their respective counties.

Sheriff Nelson said one issue facing the Sheriffs across the state is addressing the issue of public trust of government and believes county Sheriffs are key because they are elected by the people. "Every deputy sheriff carries the duties and responsibilities of the elected Sheriff." Nelson said. "We are peace officers and community servants. Included in our job is to protect and defend our citizens and our State and National Constitutions and the freedoms guaranteed there; each and every one."

The Sheriffs of Washington are elected and are constitutional officers within the Constitution of the State of Washington.

Sheriff Nelson started his law enforcement career in 1977 beginning as a reserve deputy. He served as a Longview Police officer for several years and then again with the Sheriff's Office since 1990. He has served as Cowlitz County Sheriff since October of 2009 and has been twice elected. He is in his second term as Sheriff.

Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza was elected vice-president and Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones was elected Secretary/Treasurer. Sheriff Nelson follows Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana as the association president.

Sheriff Nelson is also a member of the National Sheriff's Association and the Western States Sheriff's Association. He is also the past-president of the Cowlitz Association of Sheriff and Police Chiefs and serves on the executive board of the Washington State Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.

"The Office of Sheriff is one of antiquity. It is the oldest law enforcement office known in the common law system, and it has always been accorded with great dignity and high trust" - Walter H. Anderson, in Sheriffs, Coroners and Constables.

Attached Media Files: January_2014.jpg