Crime

Update: Kennewick teacher, Ki-Be coach arrested for child pornography

A Kennewick elementary teacher and wrestling coach in Benton City was locked up without bail Thursday following his arrest for allegedly possessing child pornography.

Edwin “Eddie” J. Bush, 29, was taken into custody on a probable cause warrant after Walla Walla County sheriff’s detectives searched property in Benton County.

Shanda Zessin, the sheriff’s chief civil deputy, would not say if the property searched included a home, business, vehicle or electronics. She would only confirm for the Herald that it took place somewhere in Benton County and that Benton sheriff’s deputies assisted.

Bush lives in Kennewick. He was booked into the Walla Walla County jail late Thursday afternoon, and is scheduled to appear in court Friday.

He is held on suspicion of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes and several counts of possessing depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Walla Walla County Prosecutor Jim Nagle could not be reached for comment.

Bush is a technology teacher at Hawthorne Elementary School, 3520 W. John Day Ave.

Kennewick School District officials were made aware of his arrest, and placed Bush on administrative leave “pending the outcome of a continuing criminal investigation,” said district spokeswoman Robyn Chastain.

Bush started with the district as a substitute teacher during the 2015-16 school year, Chastain said. He worked as a technology teacher for the 2016-17 school year.

Bush also is a coach with both the boy’s and girl’s wrestling programs in the Kiona-Benton City School District.

Assistant Superintendent Joe Lloyd said while Bush is not currently working with Ki-Be students, he has been placed on administrative leave pending further developments in the criminal case.

Zessin, with the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office, was cautious about releasing any details to avoid tainting the investigation in case other potential victims have yet to be identified.

She could not say when the investigation started, but said it is for crimes that happened in Walla Walla County.

“(It) is currently unknown if there are any additional victims,” according to a news release.

Sheriff’s detectives are working with other Tri-City area law enforcement agencies as needed on this case, Zessin said.

People who have potentially relevant information to the case or about Bush are asked to call the detective bureau at Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office at 509-524-5400.

Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531, @KristinMKraemer

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