The body that was located off the Shepherd Pass trail has been identified as 37-year old man, Kenneth Pledger, from Colorado City, AZ. According to the Inyo County Sheriffs Department, at this time the cause of death has not been determined.
Back on Monday, May 18th, 2015 Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received notification of a deceased person off the Shepherd Pass trail at about the 12,000′ elevation level. The information shared with the Sheriff’s Office from the reporting party was that it was evident that the person had been deceased for some time.
Due to the demanding and steep terrain, it was determined that a helicopter recovery would be the safest mechanism to remove the body. Several attempts were made, but due to the recent storm activity in the High Sierra’s the recovery mission had to be held off until the morning of Wednesday May 27th. CHP Helicopter H-80 out of Apple Valley was utilized. Inyo SAR members were able to safely secure the remains for transport to the Lone Pine Airport where they were met by the Inyo County Coroner’s Office.
cover photo by inyo county sheriffs department
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28-year old Gabby McDarment Jr was taken into custody Friday, May 29th. According to the Inyo County Sheriffs department, units were sent to the 300 block of North Pa Ha lane just after 4:30 Friday afternoon. Sheriff’s personal and Bishop Tribal Police responded to the scene. According to Inyo County Undersheriff Jeff Hollowell the initial call for services indicated, “A male subject had broken into the residence and was threatening to harm the occupants”. The subject, McDarment Jr, was taken into custody, transported initially to Bishop’s Northern Inyo Hospital, cleared and transferred to Inyo County Jail. The suspect was booked on suspension of attempted murder and battery causing serious bodily injury. According to Undersheriff Hollowell, McDarment Jr is being held in Inyo County Jail with bail set at $510,000. The investigation continues.
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Adverse weather delays recovery
Remains yet to be identified
Inyo County Sheriff’s Department report:
On Monday May 18th, 2015 Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received notification of a deceased person off the Shepherd Pass trail at about the 12,000” elevation level. The information shared with the Sheriff’s Office from the reporting party was that it was evident that the person had been deceased for some time.
Due to the demanding and steep terrain, it was determined that a helicopter recovery would be the safest mechanism to remove the body. Several attempts were made, but due to the recent storm activity in the High Sierra’s the recovery mission had to be held off until the morning of Wednesday May 27th. CHP Helicopter H-80 out of Apple Valley was utilized. Inyo SAR members were able to safely secure the remains for transport to the Lone Pine Airport where they were met by the Inyo County Coroner’s Office. Cause of death has not yet been determined, nor has positive identification of the remains.
“The remains were about 75-yards due east of the Shepherd Pass trail, about 200-yards from the Sequoia National Park boundary, located in a flat area where it would be safe to presume that a fall was not the cause,” stated SAR Coordinator Brian Hohenstein.
The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank CHP H-80 for their assistance, and the Inyo SAR volunteers.
cover photo provided by the Inyo County Sheriffs Department
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A 17-year old Bishop boy was taken to jail Sunday following a vehicle pursuit that ended with a crash near the Mt. Whitney fish hatchery.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the Bishop police department took a stolen vehicle report just prior to 3pm Sunday. The vehicle, a 2004 Toyota Corolla was reportedly stolen from the Bishop Union High School parking lot. Just after 3pm, the Inyo County Sheriffs department reported they had located the vehicle being driven in Big Pine. The report notes that the vehicle traveled southbound on highway 395. Near fish spring road the CHP and Inyo County deputies attempted to make an enforcement stop, however the vehicle failed to yield continuing southbound, “in a reckless manner.”
According to the highway patrols reports, “spike strips were deployed to end the pursuit and the driver made a sudden turn in an attempt to avoid driving over the spike strips.” The vehicle overturned several times. The 17-year old juvenile suffered minor injuries, and was transported to Southern Inyo Hospital. The highway patrol indicates the driver was then arrested for Felony Auto Theft, Felony Eluding, Driving under the Influence, and driving without a valid drivers license. The juvenile was taken to the Inyo County Juvenile Detention Center.
Inyo Jury Convicts Christopher Ortiz in Felony Domestic Violence Case
Inyo County District Attorney Tom Hardy announced this morning that Bishop-area resident Christopher Ortiz was convicted this week after a short jury trial on a felony charge of Domestic Violence and a misdemeanor child abuse violation based on events occurring on December 6, 2014. Following the jury’s verdicts, the court found to be “true” a special allegation that Mr. Ortiz had previously served a term in state prison.
Sentencing in the case is set for April 14, 2015 in Independence, and Mr. Ortiz is facing up to six years in state prison. The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Michael Turner, following an investigation by the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department. The District Attorney’s office would also like to thank the Bishop Paiute Tribe RAVE (Relief After Violent Encounters) staff for their support and assistance in this case.
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Inyo and Mono County Search and Rescue teams called into service
On March 14, 2015, shortly after midnight, the Inyo County Sheriff Department was dispatched to the Lower Gorge for a report of an overdue hiker.
The missing hiker, Scott Sederstorm age 44 of Bishop, was reported to be at the Lower Gorge earlier in the day doing some climbing. When Sederstorm did not return that evening, his fiancé drove to the lower gorge parking lot and located Sederstorm’s van and dog.
An Inyo County Sheriff’s Deputy along with a Fish and Game Officer searched the area for Sederstorm but were unable to locate him.
At about 6:30AM the Inyo County Search and Rescue team was called.
About an hour after the Inyo SAR team began their search of the area, Sedestorm’s body was located by a family friend in the gorge. Once the body was identified, Deputy Degeorge of Mono County took over the investigation.
Several Inyo SAR members along with several Mono SAR members remained on scene to assist in the body recovery.
cover photo by Mono County Search and Rescue
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Saturday Morning incident leads to Arrest, 3 injured officers
The Bishop Police department is reporting the arrest of 36-year old Kevin Curtis Brown. According to Bishop Police department public information officer Katie Coffman, units were called to the 400th block of East line street early Saturday morning. Just after 1:00am officers were sent to the area for a welfare check. According to Coffman, Brown fled the scene on foot resulting in a foot pursuit conducted by the bishop police department with assistance from the Inyo County Sheriffs department. Brown was apprehended and taken to Bishop’s Northern Inyo Hospital for a standard evaluation before being transported to Inyo County Jail.
While at Northern Inyo, Coffman indicates that Brown attempted to escape. That effort resulted in three officers being injured. Brown is facing a list of charges that include a violation of probation, domestic battery, obstructing an officer, battery causing serious injury and possession of a controlled substance.
Kevin Curtis Brown was booked into Inyo County Jail in Independence just after 5am Saturday.
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On Tuesday, February 17, Agents with the Inyo Narcotics Enforcement Team (INET), along with assistance from the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department, served a search warrant at a residence in Bishop’s Highlands mobile home park. At the residence, Agents seized over half an ounce of methamphetamine, a scale, evidence of drug sales, and drug paraphernalia.
The primary suspect of the investigation, Eryk James Finney (age 35) of Bishop, was located inside the living room of the residence at the time of the search warrant service. Finney was arrested and booked at the Inyo County Jail on charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance for Sale and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He is being held on bail pending arraignment.
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The Inyo County Sheriffs department is confirming the death of Harold Butterbredt. The Sheriffs department released a statement Tuesday confirming Butterbredt’s passing:
“Harold Wayne Butterbredt, a 48-year old man and inmate at the Inyo County Jail, passed away suddenly Monday morning. Butterbredt requested to be seen by medical staff around 7:20 AM; he was in the process of being transported to Southern Inyo Hospital when he collapsed in the sally port area outside the jail facility. CPR was performed and every attempt to stabilize Butterbredt was maintained throughout the ambulance transport to Southern Inyo Hospital. Butterbredt was pronounced deceased at the hospital at approximately 8:00 AM. An autopsy will be conducted this week to determine cause of death. The Inyo County District Attorney’s Office is conducting an investigation into the incident.”
foul play is not suspected
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The Body of Graig Legatt found Monday in Death Valley
The Inyo County Sheriffs department is reporting the discovery of the remains of Graig Legatt. A statement for the Inyo County Sheriffs department:
Graig Legatt’s remains were located on February 16, 2015 in Death Valley National Park approximately one mile up a ravine from where his vehicle was discovered by National Park Services rangers abandoned.
The vehicle was reported to the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office on February 10th; since then both ground and aerial searches have been conducted in attempt to locate Legatt.
The Inyo County Coroner has notified Legatt’s family; the cause of death was determined to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Although this search had a tragic ending, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank everyone for their assistance: CHP, National Park Services, New Richmond WI Police Department, as well as the outpouring of support and assistance received by the public. Our thoughts are with the Legatt family as they begin to heal.
photo courtesy of the Inyo county sheriffs department
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