Yamhill Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Releases
Labor Day Traffic Enforcement Will Concentrate On Safety Restraints (Photo) - 08/13/18

Sheriff Tim Svenson of the Yamhill County Sheriff's Office announced today that his office will join with other law enforcement agencies state wide August 20th through September 2nd, 2018 to encourage the use of safety belts and child restraints as the simplest and most effective way to prevent crash related injuries and fatalities.  These dates coincide with the Labor Day weekend. As this is the last long weekend of the summer, traffic is expected to increase greatly and the chances of being involved in a traffic crash also increase. 

•        Oregon law requires all occupants to use safety restraints or a child safety system appropriate for their size. Law enforcement agencies throughout Oregon will be working overtime to focus on proper safety belt use including child seat use, during a nationwide traffic enforcement “blitz” occurring day and night.

•        This enhanced enforcement is made possible through grant funding of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and administered by Oregon State Sheriff’s Association

•        Safety belts, used correctly, can reduce the risk of major crash injury or death by up to 65%.  Belts are even more effective when used in combination with airbag systems and other not-so-obvious occupant protection features designed into today’s vehicles.

•        Child seats may increase crash survival by 71% for infants under one year old and by up to 59% for toddlers aged one to four.  Booster seats may reduce the chance of nonfatal injury among four to eight year olds by 45% compared to safety belts used alone.

•        Children under one year or weighing less than twenty pounds must ride in a rear-facing child seat.  A child over forty pounds must use either a child seat or booster until they reach age eight or 4’ 9” tall and the adult belt fits them correctly. 

Attached Media Files: stop
Missing Yamhill County Man Found Deceased in Santiam River - 07/30/18

Yesterday, at about 5:00 p.m. the body of Kerry Albert Letsch was located in the Santiam River, approximately one mile downriver from the Santiam Rest Area.  Letsch had been missing since July 13th and had been suffering from dementia and depression.  His vehicle was discovered abandoned at the Santiam Rest Area on Interstate 5 on July 20th. 

The discovery of Letsch’s vehicle prompted a search of the rest area and adjacent properties by the Oregon State Police and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.  The search included approximately 9.5 river miles from the City of Jefferson to the Willamette River.  

Letsch was located yesterday evening by rafters using the river for recreation.  The Oregon State Police, the Jefferson Fire District, and the Linn County Sheriff’s Office all assisted in the recovery. 

A post examination of Letsch will be conducted in the near future, but foul play is not suspected at this time. 


Da Press Conference On OIS in Amity - 07/26/18

The Yamhill County District Attorney’s Office has advised us that they are prepared to release information on the investigation into the officer involved shooting of July 7, 2018, in Amity, Oregon.  They have asked us to advise the media that there will be a press conference to share the information tomorrow, July 27th, at 10:45am.  The press conference will be held in the Newberg Public Safety building, located at  401 E. Third Street, Newberg.  Questions should be directed to the Yamhill County District Attorney’s Office.

Recovery - 07/22/18

**UPDATE** Today at approximately 1330 hours, the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office received a call that a body had been located in the Willamette River approximately 4 miles downriver from the Wheatland Ferry.  The Yamhill County Marine Patrol was actively on the water searching the area at that time of the call. 
Marine deputies from the both the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene and recovered the body.  Family members were able to positively identify the body as that of Leocadio Sendejas-Sanchez.  Mr. Sendejas-Sanchez had gone missing while swimming near the Wheatland Ferry on Wednesday, July 18. 
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family members of Mr. Sendejas-Sanchez.

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Search for Missing Swimmer Continues in Willamette River (Photo) - 07/19/18

The search for 68 year old Leocadio Sendejas-Sanchez, who disappeared while swimming yesterday, continues this morning in the Willamette just north of Wheatland Ferry. Yesterday, divers and search crews covered approximately 1/4 mile of river water before suspending the search due to darkness. At about 9:00 a.m. Yamhill County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol conducted a visual search of the water. Divers from Clackamas County Dive/Rescue are scheduled to enter the water around 10:00 a.m.

An update will be provided later this afternoon

Attached Media Files: search 2 , search 1
Search Underway for Swimmer in Willamette River near Wheatland Ferry ***Update (Photo) - 07/18/18


The search for Leocadio Sendejas-Sanchez, the missing swimmer in the Willamette River is being suspended due to darkness. Search crews from the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue and Clackamas County Dive/Rescue searched for several hours, covering approximately one-quarter mile downriver from Sendejas-Sanchez’s last known location.

The search was conducted with the use of divers and four watercraft. 

Efforts will continue tomorrow morning and additional information will be made available as it develops. 



Today, at about 4:15 p.m. Yamhill Communications Agency, the dispatch agency for the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office, received a  911 call advising a swimmer had gone under water in the Willamette River, approximately 200 yards north of the Wheatland Ferry.

The swimmer was identified by a family member as Leocadio Sendejas-Sanchez, 68 years of age.  Sendejas-Sanchez, who is a resident of California, was visiting relatives in Oregon.  Those relatives were present on the shore at the time of the incident. 

Currently, the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, and Clackamas County Dive/Rescue have craft on the water searching for Sendejas-Sanchez. 

The initial investigation has determined that Sendejas-Sanchez was attempting to swim across the Willamette from the Yamhill County side to the Marion County side when he was observed going under water.  Sendejas-Sanchez was described as a good swimmer; however he was not wearing a life jacket at the time of his disappearance. 

Water visibility in the Willamette is very good at this time, and the water is low.  The search is continuing and additional information will be provided when available.

Attached Media Files: patch , Search