An update from Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney about the Cartwright Road homicide case

“The murder of three people in their foothills home is shocking and horrific. I understand you have questions and want to know as much as possible about the investigation. I do too. The good news is Ada County Sheriff’s detectives have found lots of answers. And they are working tirelessly to piece together the case.

This investigation is about the Welps. I want justice for the victims. Every day we get one step closer to that. All of the information and evidence is being turned over to prosecutors as we move toward charges in this case.

As soon as we can share some of those details without jeopardizing our investigation into this horrible crime —  or any court proceedings that arise from it — we will.

There is one man in custody on theft and forgery charges in connection with this case. At this point in the investigation, I can tell you that man — Adam Dees — is a suspect in the triple homicide.

It is important to point out, however, that Dees is not currently charged with those deaths.

As I said before, I do not believe there is an ongoing threat in our community related to these deaths. I feel more confident than ever that is true.  I think that confidence will become clearer to you in the weeks ahead.”

 Sheriff Gary Raney

Sheriff Raney’s update on Cartwright Road homicide case

Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney has some new details to share about the Cartwright Road homicide case.

While the homicide investigation is still very much ongoing — and detectives are working around the clock to gather every piece of evidence and any possible information to help determine exactly what happened — there have been continuing developments that we can’t go into detail about right now that have provided some important answers on what happened.

“A few days ago, I could not confidently tell you not to be concerned about your safety. Today, I feel comfortable saying that you can sleep peacefully tonight – without fear and worry of an ongoing threat in the community,” Sheriff Raney said.

“I want to thank everyone who has called in a tip or shared information with investigators. Every new detail takes us one step closer to accountability for the person responsible for three gruesome murders and one step closer to justice for the Welp family.”

Ada County Sheriff’s detectives continue to investigate leads and work to figure out why three people were murdered inside a foothills home in North Ada County earlier this week.

Two men and a woman — 80-year-old Theodore Welp, his wife, 77-year-old Delores Welp, and their son, 52-year-old Thomas Welp— were found inside their home on North Cartwright Road, near Pierce Park Road, late Tuesday morning.

Deputies arrested a 22-year-old Adam Dees Wednesday in connection with the case. Deputies took Dees into custody while he was at the Best Buy store in Boise shortly after 3:30 p.m.

Dees is charged with three felony counts each of grand theft and forgery and a misdemeanor court of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

Ada County prosecutors said Thursday Dees used credit cards taken from the Welp’s home to buy items at area stores, including the Buckle, Boise-area restaurant Barbacoa, and Best Buy.

For some of the purchases with the stolen credit cards, Dees forged the signature of members of the Welp family. Dees also had a handgun in his waistband when deputies arrested him Wednesday.

There is also evidence Dees was trying to sell a wedding ring earlier this week.

That ring — Elaine Welp’s diamond engagement ring — has been recovered from a local jeweler.

Dees is not charged with murder. Additional charges are possible. No one else has been arrested in connection with the case.

Dees is being held in the Ada County Jail on a $2 million bond. His next court appearance is set for March 26.

Detectives spent much of Thursday morning and afternoon searching Dees’ home in the 1700 block of N. Cody Ave. in Nampa for evidence.

Deputies also seized a 2003 black Subaru Legacy with a gold panel on the bottom Dees was driving when he went to Best Buy.

Anyone who saw that car near Cartwright Road or in East Boise between Sunday and Tuesday night and noticed anything odd should call detectives at 577-3701.

Sheriff Gary Raney said Wednesday the killing of the Welp family was one of the most violent crime scenes he had ever seen in over three decades working in law enforcement.

“When I say this crime is heinous, that is probably an understatement,” Raney told a group of reporters Wednesday. “Somebody, who violently, without cause, without any provocation that I know of, killed three innocent people. We are working 24 hours a day with everything we’ve got to put that person in jail.”

Deputies began investigating the case late Tuesday morning after a family member, who last heard from the Welps on Sunday, went to check on them today and called Ada County dispatch to report finding suspicious circumstances.

Deputies responded immediately and found the three adults dead inside the home. There were signs of a violent struggle inside and foul play.

This is very much an open and ongoing investigation, so information is limited at this point.

Anyone who knows about any possible connection between Dees and the Welp family should call detectives at 577-3701.

The Welp family released this statement Thursday.

“We are deeply saddened by the unexpected and tragic loss of our beloved parents and brother.  No words can adequately express the grief and despair we are feeling.  These were kind, caring and generous people who meant so much to us and have been senselessly taken from us.  

Please respect our family’s need for privacy during this difficult time.   We truly appreciate the outpouring of love, condolences and prayers from family, friends and members of the community.

We would like to thank the Ada County Sheriff’s Office for handling this investigation professionally and compassionately. We urge anyone with information about our parents’ or brother’s deaths to please let detectives know. We pray the person or people responsible for this horrific crime are held accountable so we can have some understanding of what happened and why.”

Ted and Elaine Welp[2]

Anyone with information on the case should call detectives at 577-3701.

34-year-old Meridian man could spend decades in prison for knife attack last fall

William Miles Buckman will spend at least seven years in prison for attacking two acquaintances with knives near Swan Falls dam last September.

The 34-year-old Buckman pleaded guilty to felony counts of aggravated battery and third degree arson late last year in connection with the incident.

Fourth District Judge Patrick Owen sentenced Buckman to a total of 20 years in prison late last month. Buckman can ask for parole after serving seven years.

Deputies arrested Buckman in September after he used knives to cut two people he was camping and fishing with near Swan Falls dam.

Deputies also charged Buckman with two counts of second-degree kidnapping for holding the same two people at knifepoint. Those charges were later dropped as part of a plea agreement with Ada County prosecutors

Ada County Sheriff’s Deputies and Kuna Police began their investigation just after 5 a.m. Sept. 28 after getting a 911 call that a man was attacking people with a knife near Swan Falls Dam.

When deputies arrived they found a man and woman in a pickup truck with knife wounds but not the attacker. Deputies found Buckman moments later trying to get into a building attached to the dam.

At that point, deputies took Buckman into custody. The two victims went to a local hospital for treatment for the knife wounds.

Witnesses told deputies that Buckman was fishing on the dam — and drinking alcohol — with a group of people for most of the night while others in the group were sleeping in a tent on the bank of the river.

At some point early that morning, Buckman got angry with a couple in the tent.

At least one witness told detectives the argument was because the people in the tent would not go into the river to retrieve a flashlight someone else dropped into the water.

Witnesses say Buckman walked over to the tent and started to threaten the couple inside, cutting the tent with a knife and threatening to set it on fire.

The couple got out of the tent and a physical struggle with Buckman ensued. That’s when the man was cut on the arm.

Witnesses say Buckman then held the couple at knifepoint and made them walk over to a nearby truck as part of the dispute about the flashlight.

That’s when another fight broke out. Both the man and woman from inside the tent sustained lacerations as they fought with Buckman. The man had knife wounds on the neck, shoulder, and arm. The woman had a knife wound on her arm.

58-year-old Kuna woman is charged with felony assault for firing at deputies during standoff

Robin Ann Miller is charged with a felony count of assault and battery on a law enforcement officer in connection with a standoff involving the Ada Metro SWAT team Wednesday morning.

Miller fired at least one shot in the direction of SWAT team members who were outside her home in the 1300 block of S. Cholla Drive.

The 6-hour-standoff with the SWAT team was ended when Ada County Sheriff’s deputies were able to get into Miller’s home and get her out without any more shots being fired.

The 58-year-old Miller is being held in the Ada County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

The incident began just after 3 a.m. Wednesday when Ada County dispatchers got a 911 call from a neighbor, who said they heard the sound of gunshots — and someone yelling for help — from Miller’s home.

Kuna Police arrived moments later and found a broken window. They then made contact with Miller by talking through the  window. Officers also saw a gun through the window. Miller would not explain what was going on or agree to come out to talk to officers.

Officers called for the Ada Metro SWAT team a short time later out of concern for public safety. Deputies continued to try to talk to Miller — through the window, using a megaphone, and also using a cell phone tossed into the home — but Miller would not cooperate.

Members of the SWAT team began arriving shortly after 5 a.m. and began to set up around the home.

At 8:12 a.m. Miller fired a shot from inside the home to near where SWAT team members had been standing a few moments before.

That’s when SWAT members asked to use the REVA armored personnel carrier. They continued to try to talk to Miller and convince her to come out while they waited for the REVA.

A phone alert was sent to the 12 homes nearest to Miller’s house telling people what was going on and that deputies would come to their homes to escort them out to ensure their safety.

For the homes directly across from Miller’s house, deputies parked the REVA between them to provide cover before they helped evacuate people inside those houses.

Deputies then used the REVA to knock down some tree branches and then part of the front door so they could get a better look on what was going on inside.

Once that was done they sent in a robot which broadcasts a video feed back to SWAT members. Deputies then sent the robot up the steps of the home to the bedroom where Miller was. They used the robot to talk with her and get video from inside.

Just before 11 a.m. SWAT members threw in some flash devices (which generate loud noise and blinding light), went into Miller’s room, and got her into custody.

SWAT members did not fire any rounds during the standoff. No one else was inside Miller’s home. No one was injured during the standoff.

Investigators later found at least two handguns and evidence that several shots were fired inside.

It is unclear why Miller fired shots inside her house and yelled for help at 3 a.m. or why she fired at SWAT team members later.

Deputies booked Miller into the Ada County Jail Wednesday afternoon after she was released from the hospital.

The crime of felony assault and battery on law officers (Idaho Code 18 – 915) is punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

Update: Task force has finished investigation into suicide of 37-year-old man during Internet enticement arrest

A multi-agency task  force has concluded their investigation of the Jan. 7 incident where a 37-year-old Meridian man killed himself during an Internet enticement operation.

Officials with the Ada County Coroner’s office determined Kirk Wilkinson committed suicide when he shot himself in the head on Jan. 7 — a conclusion supported by investigators with the multi-agency critical incident task force, led by Boise Police.

At the time of his death, Wilkinson had arranged to meet who he believed to be a 13-year-old girl for sex in an east Boise parking lot. He shot himself when he saw Ada County Sheriff’s deputies were there instead.

While the task force investigation is done, detectives are still checking into Wilkinson’s activities prior to his death.

Ada County Sheriff’s detectives began their investigation in November after answering an ad on Craigslist where a man was soliciting sex from teenage girls.

ACSO detectives communicated with the man, later identified as Wilkinson, over email and then by text message before arranging to meet Jan. 7.

When he arrived at the parking lot, Wilkinson saw deputies in the parking lot and attempted to drive away.

Deputies were able to box the car in so he could not leave. At that point, several deputies got out of their cars, began walking towards the Wilkinson’s car, and yelled for him to get out.

Deputies then saw Wilkinson searching for something in his car. That’s when deputies saw him pull out a handgun, point it at his head, and fire.

Some deputies drew their handguns after they saw Wilkinson with his handgun — but none of the deputies fired.

The crime of enticement of children over the internet is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and requires anyone convicted to have to register as a sex offender.

The Ada County Sheriff¹s detective in charge of the case works with the Idaho Crimes Against Children Task Force, a statewide coalition of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies focused on apprehending and prosecuting people who use the internet to criminally exploit children.

45-year-old Portland man charged with felony malicious harassment

A 45-year-old Portland man who threatened to kill a 6-year-old boy on a Greyhound Bus because of the boy’s Hispanic heritage is charged with felony malicious harassment.

James E. Brennan is also charged with misdemeanor counts of assault, battery, and disorderly conduct during the same bus trip.

Witnesses say Brennan threatened to kill three different adult passengers — using a shotgun, pistol, or ax — and then shoved the bus driver after the driver stopped the bus to get Brennan off.

Deputies did not find any weapons on Brennan or in his belonging but did find eight empty beer cans.

Deputies began their investigation just after 7:15 p.m. Thursday when they were called to the Stage Stop truck stop on Interstate 84.

Witnesses say Brennan got on the bus in Twin Falls earlier that day and began drinking beer as the bus went west down I-84.

That was when witnesses say Brennan began yelling racially-biased epithets and threats of violence towards several passengers — including the boy.

The bus driver became so concerned for the safety of the passengers that he pulled the bus over at the I-84 Stage Stop exit ramp to get Brennan off the bus. Witnesses say that’s when Brennan threatened the bus driver with violence before shoving him.

It was around that time when an Ada County Sheriff’s deputy and Idaho State Police officer arrived at the scene. Brennan then grabbed a few of his personal items and got off the bus. Brennan was taken into custody and eventually arrested after deputies interviewed several passengers on the bus.

Brennan is set to make his initial court appearance Friday afternoon.

The felony crime of malicious harassment is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Idaho code defines felony malicious harassment (18-7902) as:

“It shall be unlawful for any person, maliciously and with the specific intent to intimidate or harass another person because of that person’s race, color, religion, ancestry, or national origin, to:

(a) Cause physical injury to another person; or

(b) Damage, destroy, or deface any real or personal property of another person; or

(c) Threaten, by word or act, to do the acts prohibited if there is reasonable cause to believe that any of the acts described in subsections (a) and (b) of this section will occur.

For purposes of this section, “deface” shall include, but not be limited to, cross-burnings or the placing of any word or symbol commonly associated with racial, religious or ethnic terrorism on the property of another person without his or her permission.

27-year-old Boise man arrested on a lewd conduct charge

A 27-year-old Boise man who tried to have sex with teenage girl he met over the internet is charged with lewd conduct.

Ada County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Richard A. Harshman early Monday morning — hours after the girl ran away from his south Boise home and went to a nearby house to get away.

Deputies began their investigation just before 1:30 a.m. Monday after being called to a home in the Victory/Cole roads neighborhood.

Once they arrived, the girl told deputies she met and began communicating with a man on the Internet dating site OkCupid about two weeks ago.

There is evidence the online communication continued until late Sunday night, when the man made arrangements to pick up the girl at her house and take her to his house in South Boise.

It appears as if both Harshman, 27, and the girl, 15, posted fake ages for themselves on the online dating site.

The girl said once she got in the car she quickly figured out that the man, later identified as Harshman, was older than he said he was.

The girl said when they got to his home, the man grabbed her and tried to get her to have sexual contact. She resisted and eventually left the house and went to another home to use the phone.

Detectives arrested Harshman later Monday morning after doing interviews and collecting evidence.

Harshman is set to make his initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon. The crime of lewd conduct is punishable by up to life in prison.

18-year-old Boise man arrested for coercing teen girl into sending him nude photos

Ada County Sheriff’s deputies have arrested an 18-year-old Boise man who posed as someone else online to coerce a teenage girl into sending him nude photos last month.

Michael Anthony Hall is charged with three felony counts of sexual exploitation of a child and a charge of theft by extortion in connection with the case.

ACSO deputies began their investigation Oct. 2 after getting a report about telephone harassment — how someone unknown to the girl told her he would put embarrassing information about her on the Internet unless she sent him nude photos.

The teen eventually did send some photos after getting scared by the threats the unknown person was making. The girl told her parents a short time later about what was going on, and they contacted deputies.

Detectives later determined that the messages came from Hall, who knew the girl but used a cell phone application that made it look like text messages came from a different phone number.

Ada County prosecutors issued an arrest warrant on the four felonies for Hall Wednesday. He turned himself  in at the Ada County Jail Thursday afternoon, where he is being held on a $250,000 bond.

The crime of felony sexual exploitation of a child is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Anyone convicted of that charge would also have to register as a sex offender.

Hall will make his initial court appearance Friday afternoon.

Victim witness coordinators with the ACSO are providing support for the girl and her family as part of the investigation.

Detectives continue to investigate road rage/shooting case

Detectives are still investigating what led to a 55-year-old man being shot in the leg Wednesday night at a drug store parking lot near southwest Boise.

It appears the shooting was the result of a traffic dispute between people in two different pickup trucks.

Detectives continue to collect evidence and talk to witnesses about what happened. No charging decisions are expected today.

Witnesses say the incident began in traffic on Lake Hazel Road, near the Five Mile Road intersection, around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Traffic was backed up in the area at the time.

The 55-year-old man says he was driving west on Lake Hazel when he was cut off by the driver of the other truck and had to swerve out of the way.

Witnesses say the drivers began yelling at each other a short time later through open windows after they arrived at the Five Mile/Lake Hazel intersection.

That’s when both trucks pulled into the parking lot of the drug store.

The drivers continued to have a verbal dispute when the 55-year-old man got out of his truck and walked up to the open window of the other truck, where he continued arguing with the 48-year-old driver.

It appears that verbal argument continued for a while before a 23-year-old man, who was a passenger in the pickup, got out with a handgun and walked over to where the 55-year-old man was.

They had a verbal confrontation for a short time before the 23-year-old shot the 55-year-old man in the leg as that man moved towards him.

The 55-year-old man was transported to a local hospital for what appear to be non life-threatening injuries. He was still in the hospital Thursday.

Detectives say it could take several days or longer to sort out the evidence in the case and send the report to  Ada County prosecutors, who will ultimately make any charging decisions.

Eagle Police looking for driver of a red pickup in connection with suspicious event during track meet Saturday

A 14-year-old Washington boy who was participating in a cross-country event near Eagle Island State Park Saturday and was running alone says a man in a red pickup truck offered to give him a ride back to the meet but instead drove away from the park when the boy got inside.

The boy told deputies the man told him to shut up when he asked why they were driving away from the park — and moments later reached in the back seat, grabbed the teen’s cell phone, and threw it out the window on Chinden Boulevard near the Linder Road intersection.

The boy eventually jumped out of the truck when it turned into the Banbury subdivision and ran away.

The boy described the truck as being newer model, full-size four-door red pickup, either a Ford or Dodge, with a metal tool box and silver running boards. The male adult driver was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt. The boy said the driver was between 30-to-40 years old, had close-cropped hair, and a scruffy beard.

The incident occurred around 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The boy told detectives had finished his cross-country event and was doing a cool-down run by himself on Hatchery Road when the driver of the red pickup pulled up and offered him a ride back to the meet.

It looks like the driver of the truck went south on Linder, away from the park, turned east on Chinden, and then drove short distance before turning into the Banbury neighborhood before Eagle Road.

The boy said he was in the back seat of the double-cab truck and was able to unlock the door and jump out as the truck was only going about 15 mph on the icy roads.

The boy said he ran around the neighborhood before seeing a resident standing outside their home on Stafford Drive. He told them what happened and asked to use a phone.

The boy was reunited with a parent at the meet a short time later.

The boy said the driver did not say much other than to tell him to shut up. Deputies are still looking for the boy’s phone.

Anyone with information on what happened should call Ada County Dispatch at 377-6790.