Douglas Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Releases
SAR Teams enroute to rescue two standed hikers in the Boulder Creek Wilderness on Monday
SAR Teams enroute to rescue two standed hikers in the Boulder Creek Wilderness on Monday
Hikers Rescued by Search & Rescue After 19-Hour Mission in the Boulder Creek Wilderness (Photo) - 08/17/22

IDLEYLD PARK, Ore. - Two hikers were rescued by Douglas County Search and Rescue in the Boulder Creek Wilderness area after activating a SPOT device SOS notification.

On Monday, August 15, 2022, at 12:15 pm, 9-1-1 dispatchers received information from the SPOT Monitoring service that two hikers had pressed an S.O.S. alarm indicating they needed emergent assistance. The GPS coordinates from the SPOT device indicated the hikers were roughly in the middle of the Boulder Creek Wilderness area on the Umpqua National Forest.

Search and Rescue crews were activated and responded to the incident. Due to the terrain and the location where the hikers were located, it took searchers until 7:30 p.m. to reach the them. It was determined the hikers, 27-year-old Scarlet Kelley and 22-year-old Kita Hastings, both of Roseburg, were slightly dehydrated and underprepared for the conditions but were otherwise stable. Searchers provided the hikers with food, water and clothing before beginning to lead them out to a trail where horseback teams were standing by. Horses were able to get positioned as closely to the hikers as possible, due to the efforts of recent volunteer work to clear a trail system in the wilderness area.

Again, due to difficult terrain, downed trees, hazards and darkness it took approximately 7.5 hours for the rescue teams to reach the waiting horses. Once at the horses, the hikers were led out by searchers on horseback arriving to safety at 7:34 am Tuesday morning.

In total, the mission lasted just over 19 hours. The hikers were released to a friend who transported them home.

"The volunteers of Douglas County Search and Rescue and our partner agencies work and train hard for these types of missions and their efforts show," Lt. Brad O'Dell said. "I couldn't be prouder of this team."

Douglas County Search and Rescue was assisted by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Oregon State Police - Fish & Game Division, U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement, the Oregon State SAR Coordinator and the SPOT Device Response Center.


Search and Rescue would like to remind the public that your safety is our concern, but it is your responsibility. Here are some ways that you can be better prepared in the event something goes awry on your next outdoor adventure.

1. Be prepared with knowledge and gear. Become self-reliant by learning about the terrain, conditions, local weather and your equipment before you set out.

2. Share your plans. Tell someone where you are going, where you plan to hike or recreate, when you will return and your plan for emergencies. Leave a map, if possible.

3. Stay together. When you start as a group, stay as a group and end as a group. Pace your adventure to the slowest person.

4. Know when to turn back. Weather changes come quickly in the mountains. Fatigue and unexpected conditions can also affect your adventure. Know your limitations and when to postpone the trip. The outdoors will be there another day.

5. Plan for emergencies. Whether you are out for an hour or a multi-day trip, an injury, severe weather or wrong turn could become life threatening. Don’t assume you will be rescued; know how to rescue yourself. Always carry equipment in case you have to spend the night. Have food, water, shelter and weather appropriate clothing. Carry a first aid kit and a

6. Communication devices. A cell phone alone does not suffice as an emergency plan. A large portion of our remote areas do not have cell phone coverage. Whichever communication device you decide to carry, make sure you have sufficient power. An alternate power supply is a good idea. If you choose to recreate alone, satellite communication/tracking devices or personal locator beacons are a valuable tool and provide rescuers a better opportunity to find you.  

Three Dead, Driver Critically Injured in suspected DUII Crash - 08/17/22

RIDDLE, Ore. - Three people have died and a fourth is in critical condition following a suspected DUII crash.

On Tuesday, August 16, 2022, shortly before midnight, a deputy assigned to timber patrol drove through the area of the 3500 block of Lower Cow Creek Road when he observed debris in the roadway. Stopping to investigate the deputy observed a crashed 2007 Toyota Solara convertible.

The deputy located two females, 20-year-old Janeva Hodgson of Myrtle Creek and 16-year-old Kiya Speckman of Riddle, who had been ejected from the vehicle. Both were determined to be deceased. Inside of the vehicle, a male passenger identified as 18-year-old Caleb Hodgson was found to be deceased. The driver, 21-year-old Uriah Carleton of Roseburg was found to be in critical condition. Carleton was airlifted by REACH Air Medical Services helicopter to an out-of-area hospital for treatment of his injuries.

Collision investigators with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene along with the Douglas County Medical Examiner's Office.

The investigation is ongoing at this time. If anyone has information that could be helpful to investigators, they are asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at 541-440-4471 referring to case #22-3466.

The Sheriff's Office was assisted by the Myrtle Creek Police Department, Riddle Fire Department, Umpqua Valley Ambulance and REACH Air Medical Services. 

Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time
Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time
Deputies to Conduct Enhanced Safety Belt and Child Restraint System Patrols (Photo) - 08/16/22

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. - Beginning Monday, August 22 and extending through Sunday, September 4, 2022 the Douglas County Sheriff's Office will join law enforcement agencies throughout Oregon in using federally funded overtime to educate the public about safety belt and child seat laws including a law passed in 2017 increasing safety for children under age two.

ODOT crash data for 2020 shows lack of safety belt or child restraint use was a factor in 32% or 100 of a total 311 motor vehicle occupant fatalities.

“The overall goal is to educate the public and reduce the number of fatalities due to improper use or lack of use of the proper restraint systems." Lt. Brad O'Dell said. 

In 2017, an Oregon law was passed requiring children to ride in a rear-facing safety seat until they are at least two years old. A child over age two must continue to ride in a car seat with harness or in a booster until they reach age eight or 4’ 9” in height and the adult belt fits them correctly.

For help selecting or installing child car seats, consult the seat manufacturer’s instructions, your vehicle owner’s manual, or visit a local child seat fitting station listed at: https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats#inspection-inspection or at http://oregonimpact.org/Child_Passenger_Safety.

The Sheriff's Office will have deputies on overtime to conduct the enhanced patrols at random times during the enforcement campaign. The overtime is paid with a grant administered by the Oregon Department of Transportation utilizing federally funded dollars. 

Attached Media Files: Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time
Missing Person Investigation - 08/13/22

UPDATE: Delmagene “Dallas” Smith and Charlize Gibson have been located and are no longer considered missing. 

On Thursday, June 11, 2022, deputies learned that Smith had been spotted at her place of employment in Riddle. Deputies contacted her and conducted an interview. Smith denied having any knowledge of Gibson's whereabouts. 

Further investigation revealed that Smith and Gibson had in fact been together. Deputies located Gibson later in the evening and returned to her guardian. 

On Friday, June 12, 2022, deputies spoke with Smith again who confirmed she had been with the juvenile and was untruthful when she previously provided statements to deputies. Smith was taken into custody and transported to the Douglas County Jail where she was lodged for Custodial Interference in the First Degree. 

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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. - The Douglas County Sheriff's Office is searching for 20-year-old Delmagene “Dallas” Elvira Smith, who has been reported as missing. 

Smith was last seen leaving her residence in the evening hours of August 7, 2022. Her vehicle was located abandoned out Cow Creek Road on August 8, 2022. It is believed that Smith could be in the company of her 15-year-old cousin, Charlize Gibson, who is the subject of a runaway juvenile case taken by the Roseburg Police Department. 

Smith prefers the name “Dallas” and is described as 5'4", 248lbs with green eyes and brown hair. Her clothing description is unknown. 

Gibson is described as 5'03", 135lbs, with brown hair with red highlights and brown eyes. She was last known to be wearing a backless white and black shirt, long jean shorts, and black high-top shoes.

If you have any information as to the whereabouts of Smith or Gibson, please contact the Douglas County Sheriff's Office at (541) 440-4471 refrencing case #22-3326. 

REACH Air Medical Helicopter arrives at the Roseburg Regional Airport with Wildland Firefighter Collin Hagan's body.
REACH Air Medical Helicopter arrives at the Roseburg Regional Airport with Wildland Firefighter Collin Hagan's body.
Death of Wildland Firefighter Assigned to the Big Swamp Fire (Photo) - 08/11/22

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. – The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, jointly with the United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, is saddened to announce the passing of a wildland firefighter assigned to the Big Swamp Fire near Oakridge, Oregon. 

On Wednesday, August 10, 2022, shortly after 12:30 pm, 9-1-1 dispatchers received information regarding a wildland firefighter that was critically injured after being struck by a tree. Umpqua Valley Ambulance and REACH Air Medical Services were dispatched to the scene. Despite lifesaving efforts by EMS personnel assigned to the fire, the firefighter, 27-year-old Collin Hagan of Toivola, Michigan succumbed to his injuries. Hagan was a wildland firefighter assigned to the Craig Interagency Hotshot Crew based out of Craig, Colorado. 

Once the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Douglas County Medical Examiner’s Office were notified, Hagan’s body was flown from the Toketee Airstrip to the Roseburg Regional Airport by REACH Air Medical Services helicopter. Firefighters from the Bureau of Land Management, United States Forest Service, Roseburg Fire Department and Douglas County Fire District #2 stood together to honor Hagan as his body arrived and was transferred to the care of a funeral service provider. The firefighters then provided an honor escort to the funeral home.

“It is a sad day in public safety.” Sheriff John Hanlin said. “On behalf of the men and women of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, I extend my heartfelt sympathies to Firefighter Hagan’s family, friends, co-workers and all who knew this brave young man.”
 

Crash Claims the Life of a Roseburg Man - 08/05/22

IDLEYLD PARK, Ore. - A single vehicle crash on Rock Creek Road in Idleyld Park resulted in the death of a Roseburg man Thursday evening.

On Thursday, August 4, 2022, at 4:30 pm, 911 dispatchers received a report of a single vehicle crash in the 6000-block of Rock Creek Road. The Sheriff's Office responded to the scene along with Glide Fire Department, Umpqua Valley Ambulance and a law enforcement officer from the United States Forest Service.

Deputies determined 81-year-old Leonard Lemings of Roseburg had been traveling south on Rock Creek Road in his 1999 Subaru Legacy when the vehicle struck the end of a bridge and rolled. Lemings was not wearing his safety belt and was ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The Douglas County Medical Examiner's Office responded and is investigating the death. Next of kin has been notified.

Anyone who witnessed Lemings driving immediately prior the crash is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (541) 440-4471 referencing case #22-3253.

DUII Enhanced Patrols During Dunefest - 08/04/22

WINCEHSTER BAY, Ore. – The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will conduct enhanced DUII patrols during the Dunefest event in Winchester Bay August 2-7, 2022.

Utilizing grant dollars administered by the Oregon Department of Transportation, deputies will perform enhanced DUII patrol on the sand and on the roadways around the event. 

“These grant dollars allow for safer roadways and recreation areas,” Lt. Brad O'Dell said. “Whether you are driving impaired on pavement, the sand or other location open to the public in Douglas County, you will be arrested. Impaired driving is never acceptable."

Deputies will specifically be patrolling to find impaired operators, including those on ATVs. The Sheriff's Office encourages those enjoying the Dunefest event to do so responsibly. 

You can save a life by reporting drunk drivers to 9-1-1.

Arrest Made for Murder in Kendra Hanks Case (UPDATE) - 07/22/22

UPDATE: July 22, 2022, 4:45 p.m., the Oregon State Medical Examiners Office has confirmed the deceased female found in Cow Creek on July 13th is 18 year old Kendra Marie Hanks of Winston.

***End of Update***

RIDDLE, Ore. - A Riddle man has been arrested in connection with the disappearance and murder of 18-year-old Kendra Hanks of Winston.

On Thursday, July 21, 2022, at approximately 3:30 p.m., detectives with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office along with investigators from the Douglas County Major Crimes Team contacted 39-year-old Troy Russell Phelps of Riddle at a residence in the 1500-block of Pruner Road in Riddle. Phelps had become a person of interest in the investigation into the disappearance of Hanks.

Phelps was taken into custody after speaking with Detectives. A search warrant was also executed at the residence where Phelps was residing.

On Wednesday, July 13, 2022, at approximately 3:30 p.m., the Sheriff's Office was notified of a deceased person found in Cow Creek in approximately the 9000-block of Cow Creek Road. Investigators responded to the scene and confirmed the death of an adult female, which is suspected to be Kendra Hanks. The body was transported to the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office on Thursday, July 14, 2022. The death was ultimately ruled a homicide. Sheriff's Office is awaiting positive identification from the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office.

The Sheriff's Office has been and continues to be in communication with Hanks' mother, who is aware of the latest developments in the case.

Phelps was transported to and lodged in the Douglas County Jail on charges of Murder in the First Degree and Resisting Arrest.

Additional details surrounding the investigation will be withheld to protect the integrity of the investigation.

Anyone with information that would aid investigators is urged to contact the Sheriff's Office at (541) 440-4464 referencing case #22-2871.

The Douglas County Major Crimes Team consists of investigators from the Sheriff's Office, Roseburg Police Department and Oregon State Police working in consultation with the Douglas County District Attorney's Office.