Please reference CCSO Case #16-5803
Following an in-depth investigation that confirmed his alibi, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office detectives and the Clackamas County DA's Office have cleared Brian Schaffer of suspicion -- and will NOT press charges against him -- in a March 2 incident in which Schaffer's truck struck and killed Katherine Rusk.
The case began on March 3, 2016 at 6:39 a.m., when citizens first called 911 after finding Rusk's body on the side of the road at SE 282nd Ave. and SE Haley Rd. in Clackamas County, Oregon.
The Criminal Reconstruction and Forensic Team (CRAFT), Crime Scene Investigators (CSI) and Homicide and Violent Crimes Unit (HVCU) detectives responded to the scene and determined that Ms. Rusk had been hit by a vehicle -- most likely a 2004 to 2008 Ford F150 truck -- the night before, on March 2.
The Sheriff's Office also put out a call to the public for tips. Among those who called in: Brian Schaffer, 53, of Estacada. He believed he might have relevant information, and agreed to an interview with detectives.
Detectives had already learned Schaffer had been driving his work vehicle in the area, en route home from a job site. Schaffer told detectives he had hit what he believed was a deer. He said he then turned his vehicle around to look for the deer, but did not see anything. This incident had happened around 7 p.m. March 2, on 282nd Ave near Haley Rd. The street was unlit, and it had been raining heavily at the time. Conditions were such that numerous other cars drove through the area before Rusk's body was discovered nearly 12 hours later.
Detectives launched a dogged investigation. They obtained search warrants for Mr. Schaffer's residence, person and financial records. They inspected the involved truck, where items of evidence were seized. Detectives also canvassed the neighborhood of the crash scene, Schaffer's work and the neighborhood surrounding his residence. They obtained surveillance video from nearby businesses and examined Schaffer's Internet search history from his computer.
But it was a piece of navigation technology that proved crucial in the case -- and fully corroborated Schaffer's explanation of events.
A Garmin GPS unit was located in the vehicle -- and the data from this unit confirmed the path stated by Mr. Schaffer, in the timeframe he reported. Garmin data showed that the truck's path of travel conformed precisely with Schaffer's description of events. Investigators further determined that Schaffer had consumed no drugs or alcohol, was not texting while driving, and had had a reasonable amount of sleep at the time his vehicle struck Ms. Rusk.
Investigators uncovered further evidence that Ms. Rusk had consumed alcohol prior to the incident, and had been seen walking in the roadway.
Further questions can be directed to the Clackamas County DA, who agreed with investigators after a thorough evaluation of the facts that criminal charges should not be pursued.
Earlier news releases in this case are reposted below.
EARLIER (Monday, March 7, 3:45 p.m.) -- DRIVER NAME RELEASED, TIPS SOUGHT: Sheriff's Office investigating death on SE 282nd in Boring
The driver of the Ford truck in the investigation has been identified as Brian Schaffer, 53, of Estacada. Detectives have spoken with Mr. Schaffer and executed multiple search warrants.
Mr. Schaffer is not considered a suspect at this time, but criminal charges have not been ruled out pending the results of the investigation.
This is a very active investigation and detectives are still seeking tips.
The Sheriff's Office is seeking information from the public on Mr. Schaffer's whereabouts on Wednesday, March 2 and Thursday, March 3. A photo Mr. Schaffer is linked above.
Anyone with information on Brian Schaffer's whereabouts during that time period is urged to contact us using the Sheriff's Office Tip Line -- by phone at 503-723-4949 or by using the online email form at http://web3.clackamas.us/contact/tip.jsp . Please reference CCSO Case #16-5803.
EARLIER (Saturday, March 5, 2016, 9:43 a.m.) -- VEHICLE, DRIVER IDENTIFIED; TIPS SOUGHT
Involved vehicle: white 2008 Ford F-150, 2-door with a full-size ladder rackClarification: The above-linked photo of the vehicle involved in this investigation is a photo of the actual involved pickup truck -- which is a white 2008 Ford F-150, 2-door with a full-size ladder rack.
The pictured vehicle is in the control of the investigators for further forensic analysis.
The driver of the vehicle has been identified, and detectives have spoken with the driver.
TIPS SOUGHT: Anyone who saw this vehicle in the area of SE 282nd Avenue near Haley Road in the evening of Wednesday, March 2, 2016 is asked to contact us using the Sheriff's Office Tip Line -- by phone at 503-723-4949 or by using the online email form at http://web3.clackamas.us/contact/tip.jsp . Please reference CCSO Case # 16-5803.
EARLIER (Friday, March 4, 2016, 6:38 p.m.) PHOTO OF INVOLVED VEHICLE; CAUSE OF DEATH; TIPS SOUGHT
Investigators have worked tirelessly since the body of Katherine Rusk was discovered by the side of the road in Boring early Thursday morning.
Detectives are now asking for information from anyone that saw the vehicle in the above-linked photo in the area of SE 282nd Avenue and SE Haley Road: a white 2008 2-door Ford F-150 work truck with a full-size ladder rack.
Anyone with information is asked to please contact us using the Sheriff's Office Tip Line -- by phone at 503-723-4949 or by using the online email form at http://web3.clackamas.us/contact/tip.jsp . Please reference CCSO Case # 16-5803.
The incident is now believed to have occurred in the early evening of Wednesday, March 2.
Today's autopsy confirmed the initial information that Ms. Rusk died from head trauma when she was struck by a vehicle.
EARLIER (Thursday, March 3, 2016, 3:20 p.m.) -- VICTIM NAME RELEASED; TIPS SOUGHT
Family notifications are complete. The victim in this death investigation can now be identified as Katherine Rusk, 38, of Astoria, Oregon. Two photos of Ms. Rusk are linked above.
We continue to seek tips that can help us understand and possibly make an arrest in Ms. Rusk's death, which may be the result of a hit-and-run. Investigators want to hear from anyone with information about Katherine Rusk and her death, and also about vehicles in the area of SE 282nd Avenue near SE Haley Road in Boring in the past 24 hours -- as well as any vehicles with fresh unexplained damage that could be the result of a hit-and-run. Anyone with information is urged to contact us using the Sheriff's Office Tip Line -- by phone at 503-723-4949 or by using the online email form at http://web3.clackamas.us/contact/tip.jsp . Please reference CCSO Case # 16-5803.
EARLIER (March 3, 2016, 11:30 a.m.) -- NEW DETAILS; TIPS SOUGHT
Please reference CCSO Case # 16-5803
Detectives working on the deceased person at 282nd Avenue and Haley Road have provided additional details and a key correction:
1. Contrary to initial 911 reports given to police, the deceased person found at the scene is female, not male. This information has also been updated below.
2. The deceased female has been identified, and efforts to notify next of kin are currently underway. However, no contact with family members has been made at this writing, so it is unknown how long notification will take.
3. The autopsy has not been completed yet. However, preliminary indications are that this death was caused by the victim being struck by a vehicle. Investigators are exploring the possibility that the death may have been caused by a felony hit-and-run; however, until all information has been received -- including autopsy results -- nothing has been ruled out.
4. TIPS SOUGHT -- Investigators want to hear from anyone with information about vehicles in the area of SE 282nd Avenue near SE Haley Road in Boring in the past 18 hours -- as well as any vehicles with fresh unexplained damage that could be the result of a hit-and-run. Anyone with information is urged to contact us using the Sheriff's Office Tip Line -- by phone at 503-723-4949 or by using the online email form at http://web3.clackamas.us/contact/tip.jsp . Please reference CCSO Case # 16-5803.
5. The road has been re-opened.
EARLIER (Thursday, March 3, 2016, 8:58 a.m.)
On Thursday, March 3, 2016 at about 6:45 a.m., Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Patrol deputies responded to calls of a deceased person on the side of the road on SE 282nd Avenue near SE Haley Road in Boring, Oregon.
Currently, members of the Homicide and Violent Crimes Unit (HVCU) and the Criminal Reconstruction and Forensics Team (CRAFT) are working with the Clackamas County Medical Examiner to investigate the death.
No details about the death are currently available.
At this time, the Clackamas County Road Department has assisted the investigation by closing SE 282nd Avenue between Highway 212 and SE Haley Road in Boring. The duration of that closure is currently unknown.
NOTE TO MEDIA: Sgt. Sean Collinson is available for media at scene. Reporters needing to locate him should approach from the north on 282nd.
Sgt. Dan Kraus
Office of Public Information
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office
At about 10:10 a.m. On Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a crash at the intersection of Central Point Road and New Era Road in unincorporated Clackamas County, near Canby. [map: https://goo.gl/maps/Bw3CMpCxYru ]
Upon arrival, deputies learned that a Clackamas County-owned and -operated vehicle had reportedly entered the intersection from the direction controlled by a stop sign -- and had then been struck on the side by an oncoming car. Deputies also learned that the vehicle's passenger -- a client of Clackamas County Health, Housing and Human Services with mobility issues -- had suffered fatal injuries in the crash.
Investigators with the Crime Reconstruction and Forensics Team (CRAFT) responded to the scene to conduct a complete investigation, including reconstruction using the FARO 3D laser scanner.
The investigation is ongoing; at this writing, investigators have yet to determine whether any citations will be issued.
A medicolegal death investigator from the Clackamas County Medical Examiner's Office responded to conduct the death investigation.
The drivers of both vehicles were transported to local hospitals for treatment. Both have non-life threatening injuries. Both drivers are cooperating with investigators.
Impairment by alcohol or drugs is not believed to be a factor in the crash.
Names are being withheld pending next-of-kin notifications.
Please reference CCSO Case # 16-26046
Last night (Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016) around 11:06 p.m., deputies contracted to the City of Wilsonville received the report of a woman sexually assaulted at the Jory Trail Apartments (8750 SW Ash Meadows Rd., Wilsonville).
The woman reported being approached and attacked by the unknown suspect as she went to enter her apartment.
The woman reported being sexually assaulted, and was then able to scare off the attacker -- which alerted a neighbor, who caught a glimpse of the suspect.
After the attack, the suspect fled through the apartment complex on foot.
The suspect is described as follows:
- White or Hispanic male
- Height: 5'3" to 5'7"
- Wearing: dark hooded sweatshirt, dark baseball cap, blue jeans
Wilsonville PD is asking the public for tips in this case. Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the neighborhood around the time-frame of the attack is urged to call Wilsonville Police at 503-682-1276 or contact our Tip Line by calling 503-723-4949 or using the online email form at http://web3.clackamas.us/contact/tip.jsp -- please reference CCSO Case # 16-26046.
Two Clackamas County cities -- Happy Valley and Wilsonville -- contract with the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office to provide municipal police services.
*** UPDATE (Thursday, Sept. 15)
Richard Hess turned himself into the Clackamas County Jail on Wednesday Sept. 14, at approximately 10:30pm on a valid warrant for Murder.
MEDIA ONLY- Mr. Hess had refused all interview requests at this time.
UPDATE (Wednesday, Sept. 14) -- VEHICLE LOCATED; SUSPECT ID AND PHOTO; CALL 911 IF SEEN
Please reference CCSO Case # 16-24876
The vehicle of interest in this homicide has been located, abandoned, in rural Clackamas County, east of Estacada.
The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office can confirm the suspect in this case is Richard Allen Hess, 47, of Sandy, Oregon. Mr. Hess has a warrant out for his arrest for the crime of Murder.
Mr. Hess should be considered armed and dangerous. Please do NOT approach Mr. Hess if you see him -- call (or text) 911 immediately.
(Info on 911 texting, recently rolled out in Oregon and SW Washington: http://www.nwtext911.info/ )
The Sheriff's office would also like to remind the public that anyone caught harboring or assisting Mr. Hess could be investigated and charged with the felony crime of Hindering Prosecution (ORS 162.325).
Previous releases in this case are below.
EARLIER: Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, 12:30 p.m.
1996 Ford F-150 pickup (not actual suspect vehicle)The victim in yesterday's shooting can now be identified as Dominick James Perry (DOB 5/13/77) of Portland, OR.
Mr. Perry was killed during an act of homicide, and as a result of a single gunshot wound.
The vehicle of interest in the case is still a white 1996 Ford F-150 pickup truck with Oregon license plate 902AJZ. If anyone sees this vehicle, please call (or text) 911 immediately and do not approach the vehicle or its occupant(s).
A photo of a 1996 Ford F-150 pickup truck has been attached to this release, but it's not the actual vehicle.
Anyone with information about yesterday's incident is asked to contact us using our Tip Line -- by phone at 503-723-4949 or by using the online email form at http://web3.clackamas.us/contact/tip.jsp . Please reference CCSO Case # 16-24876.
EARLIER: Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, 7:50 p.m.
The victim in the shooting from earlier today has died. Victim identification will follow tomorrow's autopsy.
EARLIER: Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, 2016, 1:00 p.m.
At approximately 8:55 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office received reports of a disturbance at 35100 SE Wilcox Rd. in Estacada. One person had reportedly been shot, and that the suspect had fled the scene.
Deputies arrived and were able to confirm that one person with a gunshot wound was still on-scene.
The victim was transported to OHSU by Life Flight to be treated for life-threatening injuries.
Detectives are currently on-scene investigating the crime.
Detectives believe this is an isolated incident and the public is not in danger.
A vehicle of interest has been identified: a white 1996 Ford pickup with Oregon license plate 902AJZ. If anyone sees this vehicle, please call (or text) 911 immediately -- do not approach the vehicle.
Considering a job with the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office? Learn about law-enforcement careers -- and our hiring process -- during a special Sept. 16 informational event.
The "Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Career Fair" will be held Friday, Sept. 16, 2016
from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Public Safety Training Center (12700 SE 82nd Avenue, Clackamas, OR 97015).
During the Career Fair, attendees will discover what it takes to get hired at the Sheriff's Office:
- What's involved in a law enforcement career
- Learn about non-sworn administrative/support job opportunities
- Collateral duties
- Our generous benefits package *
- How the CCSO hiring process works
- Speak with professionals in your field of interest
- Schedule NTN testing
Questions? Contact Elisa Crebs at 503-785-5021 or email@example.com
A Facebook event for the Career Fair is also online at https://www.facebook.com/events/897213603739475/
A copy of the Career Fair flyer is attached.
* BENEFITS HIGHLIGHTS:
Health insurance: High-quality health-care plans, 3 medical plan options, 2 dental plan options
Retirement: Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan (OPSRP)
Plus: Life insurance, survivors' benefits, disability insurance, Employee Assistance Program, Paid vacation and holidays, bereavement leave, monthly longevity bonuses, incentive pay for education, community service, DPSST Certification and firearms qualification, Deferred
Compensation, Retiree Medical Trust Fund, long-term care insurance.
This upcoming Labor Day weekend, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office will be increasing patrols with the emphasis on reducing impaired driver crashes.
The goal of these extra patrols will be zero traffic fatalities during this year's holiday weekend, and the days leading up to it.
The way we hope to achieve this goal is to first remind people that if you are going to use impairing substances, please plan ahead and have a designated driver. The second way will be arresting those who drive impaired.
Please remember that driving impaired can not only cost you your freedom and thousands of dollars, but could also take the life of an innocent person.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2014 there were 9,967 people killed as a result of impaired driving crashes. This staggering statistic amounts to one alcohol impaired traffic fatality every 53 minutes. Nationally, impaired driver crashes accounted for 31 percent of traffic fatalities in 2014.
It is the goal of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office to help avoid these completely preventable tragedies this upcoming Labor Day.
The men and women of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office would again like to remind citizens across Oregon, that everyone can play a role in preventing impaired driver crashes. If you or those around you drink alcohol and/or consume other impairing substances, such as marijuana, please make responsible transportation plans.
And if you witness impaired driving, don't hesitate to report it to your local authorities -- it may save a life.
Please remember the crime of driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII) is completely preventable, and if not prevented, can have devastating effects on everyone involved. Please enjoy your time with friends and family this upcoming holiday, have a happy and safe Labor Day Weekend.
The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office is providing free driving training for local teens during National Teen Driver Safety week in October. Registration is now open for the second annual, "Drive with a Cop" scheduled for Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Grace Chapel (9600 SW Boeckman Rd.) in Wilsonville. The free driver training is open to teens with a driver license or permit.
"Research shows that 75% of fatal teen crashes are the result of high speed, and automobile crashes are the number one killer of teens nationwide" said Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts. "Our goal is to empower teens to make good decisions on the road."
"Drive with a Cop" puts teens in their own cars with Clackamas County Sheriff's Office deputies who are also trained driving instructors. Teens learn about safe driving techniques as they navigate a driving course. Inside, teen drivers go through a variety of stations where they learn about the dangers of speed, impaired, and distracted driving. Participants have the opportunity to wear "impaired goggles" supplied by Oregon Impact and also hear from speakers impacted by teen car crashes.
"Distracted driving is not only a teen related problem this is an epidemic that impacts everyone," said Carrie Higgins who lost her daughter Maddi in a high speed car crash on June 8, 2014. "I hope that by sharing Maddi's story, presenting statistics, and speaking honestly about my personal loss I can hopefully help save others from experiencing the devastation that follows these preventable car crashes."
"Drive with a Cop" will take place during National Teen Driver Safety Week, Oct 16-22. Registration is now open on the website at www.drivewithacop.com. For additional information please contact, Kim Lippert, Event Coordinator, at 503-785-5016 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drive with a Cop is made possible through a partnership between the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, Grace Chapel, and Oregon Impact.
DWC3.jpg: "Drive with a Cop" participants listen to instructions before getting in the cars with deputies at last year's "Drive with a Cop" held on Oct. 24, 2015.
DWC2.jpg: Clackamas County deputies show "Drive with a Cop" participants the course before they drive through cones. Participants learned safe braking, how to navigate tight turns and the importance of avoiding distracted driving. This year's "Drive with a Cop" will be held on Oct. 22 at Grace Chapel, 9600 Boeckman Rd., in Wilsonville.
DWC6.jpg: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office patrol cars line the entrance at Grace Chapel in Wilsonville before the start of "Drive with a Cop" last year.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter presented the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office with the 2016 Employer Support Freedom Award at the Pentagon, Aug. 26.
Fifteen employers from across the nation received the prestigious award, including the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office. The Freedom Award is the nation's highest honor given to employers for exceptional support of Guard and Reserve employees.
"The extraordinary support these employers provide contributes greatly to the readiness and resilience of our Guardsmen and Reservists," said Defense Secretary Ash Carter. "Their support allows those troops to serve our nation at home and abroad knowing their civilian careers are secure, and is vitally important to the success of our national security strategy."
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Deputy John Zagyva who is also serves as a 1st Sgt. with B Troop, 1st Squadron, 82nd Cavalry Regiment in the Oregon National Guard nominated the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office for the award. Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Deputy Marc Griffith who recently retired from the Oregon Air National Guard worked tirelessly with Zagyva and Sheriff Craig Roberts to develop a robust Military Employee Support Program.
"At the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, we are fortunate to employ many citizen-soldiers who continue to serve the country as members of the National Guard and Reserves," said Sheriff Craig Roberts. "They are some of our best -- loyal, hardworking, and valuable assets to our team. I'm proud of the work our Military Employee Support Program does to ease the stress of a deployment on our employees and their families. Whether it is mowing a lawn, sending a care package, or helping buy Christmas presents for families, our employees go above and beyond to help each other."
Sheriff Craig Roberts championed legislation in 2015 to bridge the pay gap for employees who go on a military deployment. House Bill 2763 -- the Military Families' Pay Equity Bill -- allows public employers to make up the difference in pay between an employee's civilian and military salary while on a military deployment.
A full list of the 15 Freedom Award Recipients can be found here: http://www.freedomaward.mil/current-recipients
IMG_3614.JPG: Secretary of Defense Ash Carter presents the 2016 Employer Support Freedom Award to Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts during a ceremony at the Pentagon, Aug. 26. Fifteen employers from across the nation received the Freedom Award, the nation's highest honor given to employers for exceptional support of Guard and Reserve employees.
IMG_3599.JPG: Members of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Military Employee Support Program pose for a photo after the Freedom Award Ceremony at the Pentagon, Aug. 26.