WEST RICHLAND -- A West Richland man who was reported missing a week after he was last seen by neighbors was found dead inside his home.
Robert Webber, 57, was found Friday by West Richland police in a back bedroom of his small home, said West Richland Police Chief Brian McElroy.
Webber died of natural causes, said Benton County Deputy Coroner Michelle Genack. She estimated he had been dead for two weeks.
Neighbor Debra Rosen said she last saw Webber on April 8 and another neighbor reportedly saw him April 10. His newspapers and mail had piled up at his Grosscup Boulevard home and a missing person's report was filed with police April 16, Rosen said.
Officers checked Webber's home at least three times after the report was filed, McElroy said.
"It was unfortunate," he said. "This house had a great deal of clutter and looking around was difficult, at best, in order to see everything. We had listed him as a missing person and one of the sergeants went out (Friday) and did some additional checking ... and was able to locate him."
Rosen said Webber used to be a Herald newspaper carrier and also did landscaping and lawn maintenance.
He was vigilant about his paper route and paying everything on time, but wasn't as capable of taking care of things in other areas, she said.
The condition of Webber's 904-square-foot home was so poor that he was living in a camper with a hole in the roof on his property, she said. Rosen said Webber suffered from some mental and medical conditions, but was very independent.
"He was a hermit. He didn't want contact from anybody," she said, but added that he did let her help him last fall when he had to be in the hospital. "I really enjoyed doing things for him. He appreciated it. He was a really special person."
Man allegedly steals metal from Moses Lake business
MOSES LAKE -- A 27-year-old Moses Lake man was arrested on suspicion of stealing metal from a Moses Lake business, police said.
Officers were called to a burglary at 12:20 p.m. Friday at a business in the 6000 block of Randolph Road and discovered a large amount of metal had been stolen, said Moses Lake police Capt. Dave Ruffin.
Jeremiah J. Hamilton was identified as a suspect and when officers searched his home on Cherry Avenue they found the metal in a shed on his property, Ruffin said.
Hamilton was subsequently tracked down on Fifth Avenue and booked into the Grant County jail on suspicion of second-degree burglary and second-degree theft.
Man wanted by police arrested in Kennewick
KENNEWICK -- A 30-year-old Kennewick man wanted on warrants for allegedly assaulting someone with a knife was arrested by Kennewick police.
Jeffrey Curtis Talbott-Jones was arrested Friday after an officer saw him in a vehicle at Kennewick Avenue and Huntington Place, police said.
Talbott-Jones was wanted for an assault that occurred two weeks earlier and then reportedly tried to hit the same victim with his car Wednesday, police said.
On Thursday, he was involved in a hit-and-run crash where he drove through a fence.
Talbott-Jones was booked into the Benton County jail on suspicion of two counts of second-degree assault, hit-and-run and possessing drug paraphernalia.
The 2010 Dodge Charger he was in was impounded, searched and released back to the rental company. A knife allegedly used in the prior assault was recovered from a shed where Talbott-Jones said he had hidden it, police said.
* Paula Horton: 509-582-1556; firstname.lastname@example.org