Washington Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Releases
Cornelius Man Arrested for March 24 Shooting - 05/25/22

On Thursday, March 24th, 2022, at 7:23 p.m., Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a shooting at a residence in the 2500 block of SW Lafollett Rd in unincorporated Cornelius. A person called 911 to report that Christopher Hugh Salter, 44, had just shot someone in the front yard. Deputies responded to the scene, along with an ambulance. 

When deputies arrived, they detained Salter and rendered aid to the person who was shot, Gumercindo Gonzalez Jr., age 63. Detectives with the Violent Crimes Unit (VCU) responded to investigate. 

During the investigation, detectives learned that Salter and Gonzalez had a verbal argument near Salter’s residence earlier in the week.

Gonzalez was transported to the hospital by helicopter, where he underwent emergency surgery; however, he died from his injuries on March 28th, 2022. On May 24th, 2022, a Washington County Grand Jury indicted Salter on the following charges:

  • Manslaughter in the first degree
  • Unlawful use of a weapon

On May 25th, 2022, Salter was arrested by the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Apprehension Team (CAT) and lodged in the Washington County Jail. 

Members of the Violent Crimes Unit are called upon to investigate serious violent crimes such as homicides, suspicious deaths, adult sexual assaults, kidnappings, robberies, extortion, serious assaults, elder abuse, and missing persons.

Attached Media Files: Media Release PDF
Adult in Custody Death at the Washington County Jail - 05/24/22

On Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at approximately 2:40 a.m., 35-year-old Crystal Leuenberger died in custody at the Washington County Jail. She arrived at the Jail less than 24 hours before her death. The Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an autopsy later this afternoon. A cause of death has yet to be determined.

Washington County Major Crimes Team is conducting the investigation into her death. That investigation is ongoing, and no other information is currently available.

The Washington County Major Crimes Team is comprised of detectives from law enforcement agencies throughout the county and is coordinated by the Washington County District Attorney's Office. The team responds to major crimes that occur in Washington County.

Attached Media Files: Media Release PDF
K9 Graphic 2
K9 Graphic 2
Washington County K9 Trials Return to Hillsboro Stadium on May 21st (Photo) - 05/18/22

On Saturday, May 21, 2022, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with the Sheriff’s Office Foundation, will hold the 15th Annual Washington County K9 Trials at Hillsboro Stadium. This is Oregon’s premier police K9 competition, where K9 units from throughout the region compete for the coveted prize of “Top Dog.” The event was postponed for two years due to COVID-19 health and safety regulations.

This free, family-friendly event is an excellent opportunity for the public to connect with local public safety agencies and learn about the talented K9 units protecting our communities.

Competition events include area search, agility course, suspect apprehension, fastest dog, handler protection, and vehicle extraction. Gold, silver, and bronze medals are awarded to the top three dogs of each event based on the fastest times. The “Top Dog” designation will be awarded to the overall winner based upon a point system for each event.

In addition to the entertaining and fast-paced competition, spectators will enjoy a safety fair consisting of local public safety agencies, a vendor fair, food and drinks available for purchase, and a meet-and-greet with the K9s after the competition.

Bring the whole family, but please leave pets at home (service animals are okay).

The safety fair opens at 10 a.m., and the K9 competition begins at 11 a.m. 

Attached Media Files: Media Release PDF , K9 Graphic 2 , K9 Graphic 1
Washington County Measure 34-310 for ESPD Passes - 05/17/22

Thank you, Washington County urban unincorporated voters, for continuing with enhanced police services provided through the Enhanced Sheriff’s Patrol District (ESPD). Your ongoing support ensures we have the funding necessary to keep our communities safe through rapid response to emergency calls, services on par with nearby cities, and resources for those experiencing homelessness, mental health crises, or substance abuse issues. It is an honor to serve this community, and we appreciate your continued support. 

Sheriff Pat Garrett said, “We are happy to see the unwavering support from the community members within the Enhanced Sheriff’s Patrol District. It is an honor to continue to provide police services to ESPD and all of Washington County. ESPD is an important reason we call Washington County the safest major urban county in Oregon.” 

Attached Media Files: Media Release PDF
Update: Body Positively Identified as Missing Person - 05/17/22

On Friday, May 13, 2022, the vehicle of the missing person, 77-year-old Ralph Brown, was located in the Willamette River, near Roger’s Landing Boat Ramp in Yamhill County.

Investigators found human remains in the vehicle after removing it from the river. A Yamhill County Deputy Medical Examiner was at the scene to conduct their investigation but could not immediately identify the remains.

Today, May 17, 2022, a Deputy State Medical Examiner confirmed the remains located in the vehicle were Ralph Brown. Investigators say there were no signs of foul play.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank everyone who helped in the efforts to search for Ralph Brown, including Adventures With Purpose, Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Newberg Police Department, Seaside Police Department, Molalla Police Department, Oregon State Police, Oregon Office of Emergency Management Search and Rescue, Oregon State Park Rangers, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, Civil Air Patrol, volunteer community members, and many others.


Original Release: Vehicle of Missing Person, Ralph Brown, Located in the Willamette River 

On the afternoon of Friday, May 13, 2022, Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies learned the vehicle belonging to 77-year-old Ralph Brown, who was reported missing on May 16, 2021, was located in the Willamette River, near Roger’s Landing Boat Ramp. The vehicle was fully submerged and approximately 40 feet deep when a private company, Adventures With Purpose, located it.

Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputies, detectives from their Special Investigation Unit (SIU), and Marine Patrol responded to the boat ramp after Adventures With Purpose notified them that they believed they had located the vehicle. Yamhill County deputies said Adventures With Purpose provided a license plate they pulled off the submerged car. A Yamhill County deputy confirmed the license plate belonged to Ralph Brown’s vehicle he was believed to have been driving when he went missing.

Yamhill County deputies and Adventure With Purpose worked through the evening to remove the vehicle from the Willamette River. Once removed, investigators found human remains in the vehicle. The Yamhill County Medical Examiner was there to investigate but could not immediately identify the remains.

Detectives from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Violent Crimes Unit at the boat ramp to assist with the investigation. 

The investigation is ongoing, and as additional information becomes available, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office will make them available.

Members of the Violent Crimes Unit are called upon to investigate serious violent crimes such as homicides, suspicious deaths, adult sexual assaults, kidnappings, robberies, extortion, serious assaults, elder abuse, and missing persons.

Washington County Jail Once Again Receives National Accreditation - 05/06/22

In recognition of National Corrections Officers Week, Washington County Sheriff’s Office would like to acknowledge the hard work of our jail staff.


On April 6th, 2022, the Washington County Jail again earned accreditation from the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC). This renewal in accreditation marks the jail's 23rd year of compliance with NCCHC's Standards for Health Services in Jails. Accreditation recognizes the Washington County Jail's dedication to compliance with leading industry standards in correctional health care.


Washington County Jail underwent an on-site virtual survey in May of 2021. The survey was comprised of doctors and experts in correctional health care from across the country. The Washington County Jail was surveyed for compliance with standards on continuous quality improvement, safety, infection control, chronic care, personnel and training, medical and mental health care, health records, and legal issues.


The Washington County Jail is committed to the well-being of the adults in custody that are in our care. This accreditation demonstrates our commitment to meeting the constitutional requirements for health care delivery for our adults in custody. This accreditation is a voluntary process the Washington County Jail undergoes to make sure we provide quality health care and instill confidence in the community we serve. The Washington County Jail Commander Team is very proud of this accomplishment and our staff's time and energy dedicated to this successful accreditation.

Attached Media Files: PDF Media Release
Updated flyer
Updated flyer
Update: Deputies locate Missing and Endangered Man in Cornelius (Photo) - 05/04/22

At approximately 10:00 p.m., Alejandro “Alex” DeLeon-Mendoza was located and reunited with his family. Deputies want to thank the public for their help in this case.


On Wednesday, May 4, 2022, around 8:10 p.m., Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a report of a missing person named Alejandro “Alex” DeLeon-Mendoza. 48-year-old DeLeon-Mendoza was last seen on May 4 at 7:30 p.m., near the 600 block of S Linden St. in the city of Cornelius. DeLeon-Mendoza is 5'6", 260 lbs., and has short black hair with specks of white in it. He was last seen wearing a black zip-up hoodie, light blue shirt, dark blue hat, dark grey pants, and black and white shoes.

Washington County Search and Rescue is responding to the scene to help with the effort to locate DeLeon-Mendoza.

Please contact the Washington County Sheriff's Office at 503-629-0111 or your local law enforcement agency if you know where DeLeon-Mendoza is or have any information.

The WCSO Search and Rescue Team (SAR) is made up of teens and young adults (ages 14 to 21) who serve as the primary ground search and rescue team for Washington County. Led by experienced and highly trained Sheriff's Office staff, our Search and Rescue members are often actively involved in missions involving lost people, down aircraft, and looking for evidence in major crimes.

Team Photo 2
Team Photo 2
Crisis Negotiation Unit Takes Top Award at Regional Conference (Photo) - 05/04/22

This week, members of the Washington County Sheriff's Office inter-agency Crisis Negotiation Unit participated in the 36th annual Hostage Negotiation Team Competition hosted by the Western States Hostage Negotiators' Association. Twelve negotiation teams from multiple states competed in a challenging full-day scenario in which every aspect of crisis negotiation was utilized and tested.

Upon completing this year's competition, the Washington County Crisis Negotiation Unit was awarded first place.  The team has been awarded first place in this highly challenging competition in six out of the last seven conferences they have participated in. The Crisis Negotiation Unit tied for first place in 2015, 2016, and 2018 competitions and won outright in 2017 and 2021 (the 2020 conference was canceled due to Covid-19).

The Crisis Negotiations Unit (CNU) is an interagency team that works to create a peaceful resolution to what can be highly volatile situations. The team responds to many callouts throughout Washington County every year, often in tandem with the Tactical Negotiations Team. The team members are trained in crisis negotiation and use those skills to bring about the safest resolution possible.

The Western States Hostage Negotiators' Association (WSHNA) was founded in 1986 to develop negotiation teams to the highest degree of proficiency in the performance of their professional duties. The association is represented by enforcement and corrections crisis negotiators from eight states and British Columbia.

This year's conference and competition were hosted in Blaine, Washington, by the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office. 

Attached Media Files: PDF Media Release , Team Photo 2 , Team Photo
Deputy Michael Trotter
Deputy Michael Trotter
UPDATE: Press Conference Scheduled For Overnight Crash Involving Washington County Deputy (Photo) - 04/27/22

Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett will hold a press conference in regards to the overnight crash involving a Washington County Deputy. 

The press conference will start at 3pm, at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office headquarters at 215 SW Adams Avenue, Hillsboro. The conference will be conducted in the Training Rooms, on the 2nd floor of the Sheriff’s Office Headquarters. 

Please RSVP if you will attend at wcsopio@co.washington.or.us


We will be going live at 3:00pm on YouTube. See link below:

youtu.be/K4xPMRgBPMw


UPDATE: Press Conference Scheduled For Overnight Crash Involving Washington County Deputy

Attached is a photo of Deputy Michael Trotter.

Link below for the press conference in case you missed it:

youtu.be/K4xPMRgBPMw

Attached Media Files: Deputy Michael Trotter