HERMISTON — Two Hermiston residents are charged with abuse of a corpse after leaving a man's body in a parked van for four nights, officials said.
The body of Matthew Eastwood, 52, was found mid-morning Tuesday in a van parked behind a Hermiston-area restaurant, said Umatilla County District Attorney Dean Gushwa.
Eastwood apparently died Friday at the home of Ronnie Edward Walls, 60, and Erika Lynn Powell, 39, Gushwa said.
Investigators with the Umatilla County Sheriff's Office and the county's Major Crime Team allege that after Eastwood died, Walls and Powell put him into the van and parked it behind the restaurant Friday night, Gushwa said.
Walls and Powell were arrested Tuesday and booked into the Umatilla County jail.
Eastwood's death is under investigation. An autopsy was completed Wednesday.
Benton City woman held on threat allegations
BENTON CITY — A Benton City woman was jailed Tuesday after threatening one of her neighbors, causing a disturbance at a nearby restaurant and taking her clothes off while standing in the bed of her truck, authorities said.
Benton County sheriff's deputies were called around 5:20 p.m. to the 800 block of Ninth Street in Benton City after Daronda Jane Allen, 50, reportedly threatened her neighbor, said Lt. Joe Lusignan.
Witnesses say Allen began yelling at her neighbors and told one of them, "If I had a gun, I'd shoot you in the head," Lusignan said.
Allen also had been playing loud music at her house, dancing in the middle of an occupied street and disrobed down to her underwear in the back of her truck, Lusignan said.
She was arrested and booked into the Benton County jail on suspicion of felony harassment and disorderly conduct. Lusignan said she may have mental health issues and has been referred for evaluation.
Suspect in 3 bank heists arrested in Spokane
SPOKANE — A man suspected of robbing three banks, including one in Moses Lake on Tuesday afternoon, was arrested by U.S. marshals in Spokane on Tuesday night, officials said.
Moses Lake police Capt. Dave Ruffin said detectives worked with other law enforcement agencies after the Washington Trust Bank was robbed at 1:20 p.m. to see if the suspect could be linked to heists in Omak on July 13 and Wenatchee on July 16.
Based on information gathered in the joint investigation, a suspect was identified, Ruffin said.
FBI agents and U.S. marshals tracked him to Spokane and arrested him around 8 p.m.
A large amount of cash, believed to be from the Moses Lake robbery, was recovered, Ruffin said.
The Spokesman-Review identified the suspect as Cameron Len Gaunt, 28, of Chelan. The newspaper said Gaunt, who was on federal probation for passing counterfeit money, was released from prison June 18.
Prosser police launch anti-texting patrols
PROSSER — Prosser police are on the lookout for drivers texting or talking on their cell phones while driving.
Officers are conducting a special "Text, Talk, Ticket" monthlong emphasis patrol, beginning Friday, officials said.
The primary focus of the special patrols is to increase community awareness of the recent change in the law that allows officers to stop a driver seen holding a cell phone to an ear or texting.
Before June 10, the cell phone violation was a secondary offense, which meant officers had to see drivers commit another violation before stopping and ticketing them. Drivers caught on the phone can get a $124 ticket.
Pasco police looking for missing 21-year-old
PASCO — Pasco police are looking for a 21-year-old Pasco man who hasn't been seen by family or friends since July 10.
Peter Sullivan was reported as a "missing endangered person," and friends fear he may have become disoriented and is in need of medical assistance, Capt. Jim Raymond said.
Sullivan did not show up for work July 10 at the Pasco Walmart and hasn't returned home since.
Friends and police have searched for him in vain since the following day.
"There have been vague reports that he has been seen around the Tri-Cities area since disappearing," Raymond said. "Peter is not the type of person to have just disappeared and has not displayed those behaviors in the past."
Sullivan is about 225 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes.
Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call police immediately.
Crime Stoppers seek Pasco state escapee
PASCO — Pasco police and Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers are searching for a Pasco man wanted by the state Department of Corrections for escape from community custody.
Phillip M. Rivera, 30, is 6-foot-1, 300 pounds with black hair and hazel eyes.
He was last known to be living in the 300 block of North Elm Avenue in Pasco.
Rivera is wanted on a felony warrant for possessing a controlled substance.
Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers pays a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that results in a felony arrest.
Anyone with information about Rivera's whereabouts is asked to call 586-8477 or go to www.tricitiescrimestoppers.org. Tips also can be sent by text message by writing "Text TIP 411" plus the message to CRIMES (274637).
All calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential.
Sex offender moves into home in Kennewick
KENNEWICK — A sex offender considered highly likely to reoffend has moved to a home in Kennewick.
Justin Levi Linville, 27, has told police he is now living in the 500 block of North Jefferson Street.
Linville is 5-foot-8, 180 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.
He was convicted of communication with a minor for immoral purposes in 1998 and 2002 and first-degree child molestation. All three convictions were in Benton County.
Linville is not on probation and is not wanted by police but is classified as a Level 3 sex offender and is required to tell police where he is living.
Information about Linville and other registered sex offenders in Benton County can be accessed at www.co.benton.wa.us. Go to all departments, click on sheriff's office, then click on the link for sex offender information.
Kennewick police also have a monthly meeting to provide information about registered sex offenders and share information about how residents can keep their families safe.
The meetings are at 6 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month at the police station, 211 W. Sixth Ave.
-- Paula Horton: 509-582-1556; email@example.com