At approximately 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17, 2010, the Klickitat County Sheriff's Office received a report on an 18-year-old White Salmon youth who had failed to arrive at a scheduled appointment. Descriptions of Brandon Phelps and his vehicle were provided to local law enforcement in an attempt to locate.
Within a couple hours, the youth's vehicle was located in the Condit Dam/Northwestern Lake area. An initial search of the area proved unsuccessful and Phelps was not located. Shortly after midnight, Klickitat County Search and Rescue was activated with numerous volunteers responding to initiate a search.
At approximately 8 a.m. on Thursday, March 18, 2010, the body of Brandon Phelps was located by search volunteers along the White Salmon River. The area was sealed from public access and sheriff investigators, along with a deputy coroner, responded to the scene to conduct preliminary investigations.
There was no information located to suggest the exact cause or manner of death at this time. However, investigators will keep the case open pending the results of an autopsy and will continue to try and determine Phelps' last activities prior to his death.
High winds caused a semi truck to overturn on Tuesday, March 16, 2010, at approximately 5:35 p.m. The accident occurred on State Route 14 at milepost 106, 15 miles southeast of Goldendale.
According to the report, Frank D. Scruggs, 56, Portland, Ore., was driving his 2009 Freightliner westbound on SR 14. The semi was struck by a wind gust, causing the trailer and then tractor to overturn on the driver's side.
Scruggs was not injured.
An Oregon State Police (OSP) traffic stop in The Dalles area led to the seizure of over 5 pounds of methamphetamine and the arrest of two men from California.
On March 17, 2010, at approximately 9:45 a.m. an OSP senior trooper stopped a 2002 Dodge pickup displaying California license plates with two occupants eastbound on Interstate 84 near milepost 83 for following too close and an equipment violation. Subsequent investigation during the stop led to the discovery of approximately 5.5 pounds of methamphetamine concealed inside the pickup. A drug detection canine from Gilliam County Sheriff's Office assisted with the drug discovery that has an estimated street value of $200,000.
The two occupants were positively identified as driver Luis Pulido-Aguillar, 26, from Redwood City, Calif., and passenger Octavio Soto-Alvarado, 24, from San Jose, Calif.
Pulido--Aguilar was arrested for unlawful possession, distribution and manufacture of a controlled substance -- methamphetamine; using another's driver license; and, furnishing false information to a police officer.
Soto-Alvarado was arrested for unlawful possession, distribution and manufacture of a controlled substance -- methamphetamine.
Both men were lodged at the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility (NORCOR) in The Dalles and they also have immigration holds placed on them.
HOOD RIVER COUNTY
On March 22, 2010, at about 6:30 p.m., Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Patrol notified the sheriff's office that a snowboarder had been found deceased after being reported missing about an hour earlier. The snowboarder was later identified as 18 year old Levi Krukowski of Portland.
Krukowski had been snowboarding with friends in the Heather Canyon area of the Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort. He had been with friends when he went missing near an area marked as a hazard. The hazard area was marked with a rope.
Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Patrol located Krukowski's body in a creek near the bottom of a waterfall. The creek was within the hazard area and required crossing the rope boundary to access.
Personnel from the Hood River County Sheriff's Office and United States Forest Service Law Enforcement responded to investigate the death. Investigators estimated that Krukowski had fallen approximately forty feet into a snow crevasse. As a result , Krukowski landed in the creek that was running through the bottom of the crevasse and was found partially submerged in the water.
Although this death is being investigated as accidental, the exact cause has not been determined. An autopsy is scheduled at the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office.