Tag Archive | "Suquamish Tribal Police"

human remains

Ancient Human Remains Found in Yard of Agate Street Home

A woman who had been hired in 2012 to help dig a drainage ditch at a home on Agate Street reported on February 3 to Kitsap County Sheriff’s detectives that, during the dig two years ago, she and her co-workers had come upon human remains.

KCSO Special Investigations Unit Detective Krista McDonald explained the two-year delay. McDonald had arrested the woman in 2014 on narcotics charges. At Thanksgiving, the woman again brought up with her family the fact that she had found human remains while on the drainage ditch job in 2012. This time, her mother took the account seriously and filed a report with the Bainbridge Island Police Department. When McDonald was completing her investigation of the woman, she came across the report.

McDonald said, “I’m a cop and I get curious.” So she visited the woman, who was still at the jail in Port Orchard waiting for sentencing before her transfer to Purdy, and interviewed her about the 2012 bones discovery.

The woman explained to McDonald that during the drainage ditch project, she and two fellow workers had been digging up the old drainage field and had reached a level about four feet down to the gravel layer. That’s when they found a skull, a femur, and an arm. She said she recalled that the teeth seemed worn but there had been no fillings. The skull had had a jagged hole in the back. She had guessed from the length of the bones that they had been those of a female.

human remainsShe said she had wanted to leave the area after finding the remains. One of her companions, she said, had considered taking the skull. She had told him he’d better not. She then asked to be taken home. During the ride, she discovered that the co-worker had in fact taken the skull. At that point she had asked to be dropped off because she didn’t want anything to do with the bones.

She later found out that her nervousness had prompted the co-worker to return the skull to where he had found it. She never returned to the site but believed that the two men had finished the work, leaving the bones where they had found them.

On January 6, Sheriff’s detectives drove with the woman to the Agate Street residence so she could point out the location of the remains. She led them to an area in the front yard of the residence and was able to show them the area, which was between the edge of a deck and the edge of the dropoff down to the water.

Bainbridge Island Police Department Detective Scott Weiss then conducted a Kitsap County Assessor’s Office parcel search. He learned that the cabin on the property was built in about 1939 and he got the name of the owner. Weiss contacted him on January 8. The owner told Weiss that he had had the workers stop digging when they found the bones and to leave them where they were and cover them back up. He said he didn’t report the find because “He didn’t want to deal with it.” Weiss asked him what he meant, and he said he thought the remains were from an old Native American burial site and he didn’t want to deal with any legal issues regarding a Native American burial site on his property.

Weiss applied for a search warrant for the real property at the location, which was granted by Bainbridge Island Municipal Court Judge Sarah McCulloch on the 9th. He then consulted with Kathy Taylor, the State Forensic Anthropologist and a staff member with the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. Weiss also informed  of the Suquamish Tribal Police. In the meantime, patrol officers provided scene security in case it turned out to be the location of a crime.

On the 29th, a little after 9 a.m., Weiss, accompanied by BIPD Officer Mo Stich, BIPD Deputy Chief Jeffrey Horn, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Smith, KCSO detectives Menge and Gundrum, and Senior Deputy Coroner Stewart and two deputy coroners drove to the Agate Street location to serve the warrant. The homeowner arrived about 20 minutes later.

Weiss asked him to identify the location. The homeowner asked that the contractor be summoned as he would know better. They waited for him to arrive on scene. Once there, he identified an area fairly close to the area the woman had earlier identified to KCSO deputies.

human remainsMenge and Weiss set up a 12-foot by 4-foot grid system with three areas. Weiss and Stich took turns excavating. The others sifted through the removed buckets of dirt, looking for remains. When they reached about 32 to 36 inches in depth, they began to uncover skeletal remains, including a partial skull, two long bones, teeth, and other fragments. Weiss photographed the remains and sent the photos to Taylor.

She called him back to tell him that the remains were between 100 and 200 years old and Native American in origin.

The Coroner took possession of the remains and the hole was refilled. State Physical Anthropologist Guy Tasa will coordinate with the Kitsap Coroner’s Office and the Suquamish Tribe to arrange a proper disposition of the remains.

Weiss said that other remains had been found in the area in prior years, and it seemed to be the location of a burial grounds.

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Photos by Scott Weiss.

Posted in Culture, Don't Miss This 3, HistoryComments (1)

Drunk driving

Drunk Drivers an Ongoing Danger on the Island: Officer Nearly Killed

Drunk drivers either heading home to the Island or just passing through continue to wreak havoc, endangering lives, costing time and money, and causing traffic backups. Two recent incidents further illustrate this ongoing problem; one of them nearly resulted in injury to an officer.

Drunk Driver Hits and Runs

At approximately 7:25 in the evening of February 28, Officer Ben Sias was on the scene of a two-vehicle collision on 305 just south of Day Road. The vehicle that had caused the accident was extending three feet into the oncoming lane. The driver was sitting in the patrol car on city property directly across from the collision. Traffic was moving in both directions. Sias placed flares next to cones to divert northbound traffic around the damaged vehicle. He was wearing a bright yellow traffic vest for safety.

He looked south as he prepared to light the flares. He saw a northbound vehicle slowing for the disruption and behind it a van traveling much too fast, possibly 50 mph. He could see that the van would be unable to stop before hitting the vehicle in front of it. Just prior to impact, the van veered right onto the shoulder where Sias was standing. He leaped off the shoulder and across the ditch to the bank as the vehicle came careening down the shoulder. It then swung to the left to clear the damaged vehicle but sideswiped it and took out the cones. Although the driver came within four feet of striking Sias, the van never stopped; it just braked and then accelerated.

Sias called Cencom. The occupants of the vehicle that had slowed down before the van told Sias they would follow it.

Officer Gary Koon was in the vicinity of the Safeway at about the same time when he heard Sias report via radio that he had almost been hit by a Ford van with disabled plates that had also struck another vehicle. Sias reported that the van had not stopped after striking the vehicle and had turned east on Day Road.

Koon contacted Cencom and headed north on 305 toward Day. Cencom reported that a caller had provided the license plate number. Cencom ran the plate and provided an address for the vehicle owner on Sunrise.

The caller then reported that the vehicle turned down a private drive on Sunrise. Koon contacted the caller at the entrance to the drive and then proceeded down the drive on foot. A person sitting in the driver’s seat of the van was getting into a wheelchair. He exited the vehicle via a lift. Once he was safely on the ground, Koon approached him and identified himself. He told the man that he believed he had been involved in an accident on 305 at Day. The man said he had passed the accident but hadn’t hit anybody.

Koon detected a strong odor of alcohol. He asked the man several times how much he had had to drink, but he would only say that he hadn’t “drunk in a long time.” He wouldn’t say how long that was. His voice was slightly slurred. His eyes were bloodshot. Koon asked him if he would submit to field sobriety tests. He said no, he would not. Koon asked if he would provide a breath sample, and he said no.

Officer Ben Sias arrived on scene and identified the damage on the van from the collision. Sias was then called off on another call, and a Suquamish Tribal Police officer arrived to act as cover officer. Koon arrested the driver for DUI. Koon told him he did not believe he could transport him safely to the station for the breathalyzer test. He said he would have to have medical personnel come to his house for a blood draw. The man signed the consent form.

He then requested an attorney. Koon called the public defender and handed the phone to the man. The officers moved out of hearing distance. The man and the lawyer spoke for a little over 15 minutes. The man then refused to provide a blood test. He also refused to answer any questions related to alcohol consumption. Koon issued him a citation for DUI and hit and run and told him they were required by law to impound his vehicle and that he would have to get to court the next morning some other way.

Drunk Driver Winds Down the Highway

At approximately 2:51 in the afternoon of March 5, Cencom dispatched Suquamish units to a report of DUI. The reporting party was an employee of a Suquamish business. She said that the intoxicated driver lived on Bainbridge and was possibly en route home.

Officer Ben Sias acknowledged the call and checked the highway. He was unable to locate the vehicle and cleared the call at 3:24. Approximately ten minutes later, he noticed the described vehicle southbound on 305 from Suquamish Way. It was driving slowly and was at least one foot over the fog line. He used his emergency lights to alert drivers to get out of his way. He eventually got directly behind the vehicle and observed it cross the fog line at least two other times.

He followed her to her home and pulled up next to her as she parked in her driveway. He told her she had been called in as a DUI. She said she had not been drinking much. She was slurring her words and smelled of intoxicants. She interjected numerous topics such as religion and the arrest of her neighbor for DUI, but she would not answer whether she would perform some voluntary field sobriety tests or whether she would provide a breath sample.

Lieutenant Chris Jensen arrived, and the woman agreed to do the voluntary sobriety tests. The woman did terribly on the tests and kept stopping during the alphabet and having to start over. On finger dexterity, she started counting early and did it in the wrong order. On the one leg stand, she lost her balance at the count of nine even though her foot was only about one inch off the ground.

Sias placed her under arrest for DUI. During the ride to jail, the woman was shrieking and ranged from calm and friendly to angry, shouting, and crying. She yelled that she was going to heaven and Sias to hell. At the jail the woman didn’t ask for an attorney and she didn’t answer the question about the breath test. She kept asking what she should do, and Sias kept saying that he couldn’t give legal advice. Eventually the woman asked for an attorney. Sias offered to put her in touch with the public defender, and she agreed. Sias let them speak privately. The woman then agreed to take the test. She blew a .195 and .200. He issued her a criminal citation and booked her on $2500 bail.

Art by Mike Kline.



Posted in Accidents, News, Police BlotterComments (5)

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