Lane Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Releases
Vehicle crash / Dispute with shots fired - 10/11/21

LCSO Case #21-5751

On 10/11/21 just after 6:30am the Lane County Sheriff’s Office received more than one 911 call regarding an incident that occurred in the 3800blk of Richland St. in Springfield. Deputies learned that there had been a traffic crash followed by some sort of dispute.  Area residents reported hearing what sounded like gunshots just before the involved parties fled the location.  Some of the involved are believed to have fled on foot while others possibly fled in vehicles. 

Deputies located evidence on scene indicative of a vehicle crash.  Deputies also located at least one shell-casing from a small caliber handgun. 

Deputies are looking to contact the occupants of two vehicles that may have been in the area around the time of the incident.  The first vehicle is described as a newer white sedan.  The second is described as a gray Toyota Tacoma with a canopy and roof rack. 

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact the Lane County Sheriff’s Office at 541-682-4150 opt. 1. 

Suspect arrested for assault with a machete - 10/07/21

LCSO Case #21-5668

On 10/06/21 at approximately 1357hrs the Lane County Sheriff’s Office received the report of an assault that occurred at a residence in the 18100blk of Hwy. 36 in Blachly.  A caller advised that 20 year old Ethan Wolcott attacked another person with a machete, causing multiple injuries. 

Upon arrival deputies located the victim and determined him to be Wolcott’s 76 year old grandfather. The victim had multiple injuries and was transported to an area hospital.  Although serious in nature, his injuries do not appear to be life threatening at this time.

Deputies located Wolcott nearby and he was taken into custody without incident.  He was transported and lodged at the Lane County Jail on the charges of Assault in the First Degree and Unlawful Use of a Weapon.

The cause of the attack remains unknown at this time. 

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Missing Person - Juda Johnson (Photo) *LOCATED* - 10/06/21

*UPDATE*

Juda Johnson has been located safe and in good health.  He is no longer considered missing.

 

LCSO Case #21-5609

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office is attempting to locate 22 year old Juda Johnson of Medford.  He was reported missing by family members on 10/3/21. Johnson was last observed on 09/13/21 in the Creswell area. 

Johnson is possibly traveling with a white male by the name of “Bobby” in a 1970’s model Ford highboy pickup.  The pickup (depicted) is tan on the top and bottom with a lighter colored stripe along the middle.  It also has a canopy. 

Johnson is described as a white male adult with black hair and blue eyes.  His hair may have blonde highlights.  He stands approximately 6’05 and weighs approximately 160lbs.  He has facial piercings and likely does not have facial hair. 

Johnson may be in the McCredie Hot Springs area near Oakridge.

Anyone with information regarding Johnson’s whereabouts is asked to call the Lane County Sheriff’s Office at 541-682-4150 opt. 1.

Domestic Violence Incident Leads to One Person Being Shot - 10/06/21

LCSO# 21-5658

On 10/05/21 at approximately 4:21pm the Lane County Sheriff’s Office received the report of a domestic dispute resulting in one person being shot in the 40000blk of Log Creek Rd. north of Marcola.  Deputies along with Troopers from the Oregon State Police responded. 

Upon their arrival authorities located 42 year old Jesse Yoakum with a gunshot wound to his shoulder.  A 35 year old female was also contacted inside of the residence.  Investigation revealed that Yoakum had strangled the female and attempted to hit her with a bat.  She armed herself with a handgun and shot the male one time, striking him in the shoulder.

Yoakum was transported to an area hospital for treatment and is now in custody for charges including Strangulation, Menacing and Assault IV. 

Standoff following dispute in Mapleton - 10/03/21

LCSO Case #21-5606

On 10/02/21 just prior to 8:30pm the Lane County Sheriff’s Office received the report of a domestic dispute at a residence involving a firearm in the 87000blk of Rice Rd. in Mapleton.  The caller stated that 28 year old Jazmine Thein used a firearm to shoot at her brother. Her brother was able to flee to a neighbor’s house. 

Deputies arrived and were able to confirm that Thein was still inside the residence.  Over the course of the next several hours deputies worked to negotiate and de-escalate the situation so that she could be taken into custody safely.  Shortly after 6:00am deputies found her deceased in a bedroom from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot.  No shots were ever fired by deputies during this incident. 

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Arson suspect flees police (Photo) - 09/28/21

*UPDATE 09/28/21 / 12:15PM*

The suspect is believed to be 38 year old Branden Paul Sherrill.  Anyone with information regarding Sherrill’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Lane County Sheriff’s Office at 541-682-4150 opt. 1. 

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LCSO #21-5521

On 09/28/21 just prior to 10:30am a Lane County Sheriff’s Deputy spotted a yellow Nissan Sentra in the area of Hwy. 126 and Ellmaker Rd. in Veneta that has been linked a string of recent crimes including arson.  The deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop but the driver fled eastbound on Hwy. 126. The Nissan struck an occupied van near the intersection of W. 11th and Bertelsen Rd. before continuing northbound on Bertelsen Rd.  Deputies lost sight of the vehicle a short time later and it was found unoccupied near the intersection of Fairfield Ave. and Wood Ave. 

Deputies along with Eugene Police Officers are currently searching the area for the suspect.  He is described as a white male adult possibly wearing a dark gray jacket.  Residents are encouraged to report any suspicious activity to authorities. 

The driver of the white van is being tended to and is not believed to have sustained serious injury. The Nissan has been recovered by police and it is no longer of interest.     

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Help Identifying Illegal Dumping Suspect - Lane County Sheriff's Office (Photo) - 09/28/21

*UPDATE*  09/28/21 / 1154

Thanks to the outpouring of tips from the community, the suspect in this case has been identified and charged with Illegal Dumping.  The suspect and his vehicle are no longer to be considered of interest. 

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the community for its involvement in identifying the suspect.

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The Lane County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect in an illegal dumping incident that occurred near Big Fall Creek Rd. Milepost 3 earlier this summer.  The suspect is described as a medium build white male adult with gray balding hair. He had a gray beard at the time of the incident.  The suspect is associated with a dark gray or black four door Toyota Tacoma pickup with oversized wheels and tires.

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office has already received over 100 separate reports of illegal dumping in 2021.  Not only does illegal dumping create unsafe and hazardous conditions, it damages our beautiful landscape and costs Lane County taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars every year.   

Anyone with information about the suspect or his whereabouts is asked to contact Deputy Todd Olson with the Lane County Sheriff’s Office at 541-682-4141 opt. 1. 

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Missing Person last observed near Oakridge Area (Photo) - 09/24/21

LCSO Case #21-3669

65 year old Lester Youngs Whitmeyer was last known to be a few miles east of the Oakridge area near McCredie Hot Springs in June of 2021.  Whitmeyer had been staying in the area and spoke to a family member on or about June 18th.  He was officially reported as a missing person on July 2nd. 

Whitmeyer's belongings and vehicle were located in the Willamette National Forest east of Oakridge, however his whereabouts remain unknown.  The Lane County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team continue to search the area. 

Whitmeyer (depicted right) is described as a white male adult with gray hair and brown eyes.  He stands approximately 5’10 and weighs about 210lbs.  He commonly has a beard and wears glasses.  Whitmeyer has ties to the Redmond area.    

Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to please call the Lane County Sheriff's Office at 541-682-4141 opt. 1

Attached Media Files: Lester_Whitmeyer.jpg
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1977 Double Homicide Solved (Photo) - 09/23/21

            On Monday, June 9, 1977, sixteen year old Lliana Gay Adank and seventeen year old Eric Shawn Goldstrand, both North Eugene High School students, went to the Broken Bowl picnic grounds at Fall Creek, for an afternoon picnic and fishing outing.  When the couple failed to return home, their parents notified the Lane County Sheriff’s Office.  LCSO personnel located the female victim at the secluded picnic area. The male victim was located in the nearby brush a few hours later.  The female victim had been sexually assaulted and both victims had been shot to death. 

            Since the killings, detectives have worked to solve the case.  Initially the crime scene was searched and processed, area searches were completed and roadblocks were put in place. Over the years, numerous interviews were done, polygraphs were completed and numerous firearms were tested and bullets forensically analyzed.  Latent DNA was obtained at the crime scene and analyzed utilizing technology available at the time. Latent fingerprints from the crime scene were also analyzed and compared with the national fingerprint data base. No matches were found.  These investigative efforts afforded few leads.  However, after more than four decades, the suspect’s DNA was re-submitted in July of 2020 for analysis utilizing modernized genealogical technology. As a result of that analysis a former Lane County resident was identified and later confirmed to be the perpetrator.      

            Ronald Albert Shroy’s DNA linked him to the crimes.  Shroy was twenty three years old and a Lane County resident at the time of the crimes.  Shroy moved away from Oregon in the early 1980’s.  He was discovered to have been living in Mesa, Arizona since 2008.  As investigators were closing in and making final preparations to present the matter to a grand jury, arrest, and charge him, Shroy was involved in an unrelated domestic violence incident and took his own life.  (Feb 24, 2021)

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Team remains dedicated to investigation and solving cases such as this.  Detective Kurt Wuest was first assigned to this case in 1983.  Now, 38 years later as a volunteer cold case investigator for the Lane County Sheriff’s Office, he hopes to bring closure to the families of Lliana Adank and Eric Goldstrand.

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Team is comprised of volunteers and is funded by donations made by community members. The ability for investigators to actively work these cold case investigations is made possible by these donated funds.  This funding allowed for the recent DNA work on this case to be completed.   

We would like to thank all of the agencies that assisted with this investigation, including the Lane County District Attorney’s Office, San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  A special thank you is also given to the Mesa Arizona Police Department, and all of the forensic scientists for their hard work in helping us solve this case. 

Anyone wishing to donate to the Cold Case Unit can do so by sending check or money order to:

 

Lane County Sheriff’s Office

Care of:  Cold Case Unit

125 E. 8th Ave. 

Eugene. OR 97401

Attached Media Files: Cold_Case_Unit.jpg