Sheriff Brian Burnett reports two overdue climbers were located late Thursday evening near the base of Asgaard Pass in the Colchuck Lake area of west Chelan County. At 3:00pm on Thursday Search & Rescue coordinators received information from family members that a 17 year old male and 19 year old male were overdue returning to the Seattle area after a planned climb of Dragontail Peak. The subjects had driven to the Stuart Lake trailhead late Tuesday evening and planned to camp near Colchuck Lake and then summit the peak on Wednesday. They were expected to return home by late Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Family, friends, and employers had not heard from either subject.
A vehicle belonging to the 17 year old was located at the Stuart Lake trailhead Thursday afternoon. A two-man search team consisting of one Sheriff¡¦s Office SAR deputy and one Chelan County Mountain Rescue member deployed from the trailhead to Colchuck Lake on Thursday evening to conduct an initial check of the area for the subjects. At 11:14pm SAR command was advised by the search team that they had located the two subjects descending Asgaard Pass (which runs between Colchuck Peak and Dragontail).
Christian Junkar (19yoa) and his 17 year old friend (both from Seattle) advised they experienced complications in their climb shortly after beginning the ascent along the "Backbone" route of Dragontail Peak Wednesday morning. At one point, a climbing pack containing food, water, hiking boots and other survival essentials had fallen off rope and was lost. As the subjects continued their climb on Wednesday afternoon, they encountered rain, sleet, cold temperatures, and strong winds further hampered their effort. Both became hypothermic and had little ability to establish a shelter on the mountain. Eventually, the subjects were able to descend down to Asgaard Pass on Thursday morning and eventually make it back to Colchuck Lake where they were contacted by the rescuers that evening. Junkar had minimal feeling in both of his feet due to hypothermia and initial stages of frostbite. He had to descend the mountain in the snow only wearing light climbing shoes due to his boots being in the pack that was lost Wednesday morning. The 17 year old suffered initial frostbite to the fingers on both hands. Both subjects were dehydrated, cold and hungry.
The search and rescue team stabilized the subjects at Colchuck Lake and established a camp with them Thursday night while requesting a helicopter extraction for both on Friday. The Chelan County Sheriff¡¦s Office helicopter "AIR-30" responded early Friday morning and transported both subjects to the Leavenworth Fish Hatchery helipad. They were then taken to Cascade Medical Center via ambulance. Both subjects were treated and released on Friday.
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports on 05/31/2016 a Middle School Student reported being contacted by a suspicious male while walking home from school. The male was described as being a Caucasian man between 50 and 60 years old, balding with hair on the sides of his head. The male was driving a small teal colored SUV. The male asked the student if he needed a ride home. The student declined and the male drove away.
The student’s decision to decline the male’s offer may well have prevented a tragedy. We encourage parents to talk with their children and whenever possible have them walk with others and never approach a vehicle they do not recognize. Children should be encouraged to report any suspicious contacts to their parents, school officials, or law enforcement.
Editor note: When I was a kid we had a special password in case there really was a reason for a stranger to come and get you.
The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office is releasing the name of the rock climber killed during a fall on Saturday afternoon in the Icicle River drainage area west of Leavenworth. Zulfiya Dokukina (50 years old) of SeaTac was climbing the “Bob’s Crack” route of the “Bob’s Wall” rock climbing area at the time of the accident. Dokukina had completed one route on the wall, and was not secured to any type of rope or other safety device while transitioning to another route. There are no known eyewitnesses to the actual incident, so the exact cause of the fall remains undetermined at this time.
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports that on Saturday May 14th, 2016 at 2:52pm RIVERCOM dispatch was notified of a fallen climber in the vicinity of the “Bob’s Wall” rock climbing area in the Icicle River drainage west of Leavenworth, WA. It was determined a 50 year old female from Seatac, WA had fallen approximately 80 feet while climbing with others in the area.
Rescuers from the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office High Angle Rope Rescue Team (HARRT) and, Chelan County Mountain Rescue (CCMR) were training nearby and immediately responded to the accident scene. Cascade Medics and Chelan County Volunteer Search and Rescue also responded to assist. CPR was being performed on the fallen climber as responders arrived on scene. However, she did not survive her injuries. The exact cause of the fall is under investigation.
The Sheriff’s Office is withholding the name of the deceased pending next of kin notification.
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports that on Sunday May 8th at 10:25am RIVERCOM dispatch was advised of an injured climber on the Snow Creek Wall above the Icicle River drainage southwest of Leavenworth, WA. The climber had reportedly fallen and suffered a fractured right ankle while ascending the second pitch of the “Orbit” route. Two other climbers in the party were attempting to lower the injured subject to the base of the wall.
The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office High Angle Rope Rescue Team (HARRT) and Chelan County Mountain Rescue (CCMR) members responded to the incident along with Chelan County Search & Rescue. When responders arrived at the scene, the injured subject had been successfully lowered to the base of the Snow Creek Wall by his climbing partners. The HARRT team and CCMR members worked together to rig a rope and litter system to move the subject the remainder of the way down to the Snow Lakes Trail. SAR volunteers used a wheeled litter to transport the subject down to the trailhead by 6:51pm. This search & rescue mission took over 8 hours to complete due to the terrain and distance from the trailhead.
The injured subject, Andrei Maksimenka (41yoa) from Sammamish, WA was transported by Cascade Ambulance to Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee for treatment.
The victim of yesterday’s accident in the Wenatchee River near Dryden has been identified as 53 year old Keith M. Thomas of Shelton. Mr. Thomas and a teenage girl were in a commercial raft operated by Orion River Rafting of Leavenworth when the accident occurred. An autopsy has been scheduled.
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a fatality this afternoon on the Wenatchee River near Dryden.
A commercial raft occupied by an adult male in his 50’s, a teenage girl, and the operator flipped over near Dryden at approximately 2:00 p.m. Both the male and female were ejected from the raft.
The female was able to climb back into the raft the male was not. A safety kayaker accompanying the raft attempted to assist the male to shore. Rescuer’s performed CPR on the male for over 30 minutes but were unable to revive him.
Both the male and female were wearing wet suits and personal flotation devices.
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports on Saturday April 30th, shortly after 7:30 pm, Chelan County Deputies responded to a Wenatchee area home for a reported shooting. The reporting party said she and her brother were in the backyard at a neighboring house and her brother was struck in the face with debris from the gunshot. She also described several people fleeing a neighboring residence in a passenger vehicle.
Upon arrival Deputies located two victims at the neighboring residence. The two victims, both adult males, were attending a party and were sitting in the backyard when both were struck by pellets from a shotgun. One victim was taken to Central Washington Hospital where he was treated and released for pellet wounds to his face. The second victim was not transported and received a minor injury to his arm from being struck by shotgun pellets.
With help from Wenatchee Police Department, Deputies attempted to call out anyone inside the residence where the shotgun blast originated. No one responded. Not knowing whether someone inside the residence was injured, and as a community care taking function, Deputies and Officers entered into the residence. They did not locate any additional victims, but did discover a 20 gauge shotgun inside the residence and evidence of a shotgun blast traveling from the inside to the outside of the residence. The shotgun blast created a golf ball sized hole in the exterior of the residence in the direction of the neighboring property and Prom party.
Deputies contacted another neighbor who stated she was the caretaker of the abandoned residence. She attempted to remove some people who were no longer meeting their rental agreement requirements. There was an argument over property left inside the residence, and the caretaker stated one of the subjects broke into the abandoned residence, so she went to confront them with a shotgun. While inside the residence, she stated one of the subjects made an aggressive move towards her, so she fired one round from the shotgun. This was the one round that struck the two victims at the neighboring residence. The subjects the caretaker was talking to fled the scene prior to Deputies arrival and have not been located.
Chenoa Prather, a 33 year old female from Wenatchee, who identified herself as the caretaker, was booked into Chelan County Regional Justice Center for two counts of Reckless Endangerment for firing the one shotgun round and striking the unintended victims next door.
The investigation is ongoing and the Sheriff’s Office is attempting to locate the subject that fled.
As the warm spring weather draws people to our local waters, The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone that our local waters can be dangerous this time of year. The water can be high, swift and cold as mountain snowpack melts, making hypothermia a real risk.
River users are encouraged to take safety precautions when recreating in rivers. Here are a few tips to stay safe:
When planning a boating or floating trip:
Even the best water enthusiasts can misjudge changing water conditions when boating or swimming in open water. Be prepared at all times by wearing a life jacket – you never know when you’ll be tossed in the water.
On March 31, 2016 the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Forest Service (USFS) arrested Roger E. Grissom, a 56 year old male from Wenatchee for illegally dumping tires on USFS land. A second suspect has been identified and a warrant for his arrest has been requested through the Chelan County Prosecutors Office.
The incident occurred on Sunday, March 13, 2016, when 98 tires were discovered dumped along Potato Creek on the Entiat District of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Earlier that day a red Jeep Cherokee was observed driving up the Entiat River Rd. pulling a trailer loaded with tires.
The investigation relied heavily on help from the public after it was reported by local media and posted on social media. USFS Law Enforcement and Chelan County Deputies worked together to identify the suspects. The total dollar amount for the cleanup was $534 which included man hours and disposal.
USFS Officer Mike Kujala said, “It’s rare that we are able to identify suspects when garbage is dumped on public land. We would not have been able to make arrests in this case if it wasn’t for the public’s help.” Kujala reminds citizens that dumping trash is illegal on public lands and to call 9-1-1 if they see any suspicious activity.