Texas man sentenced to 44 years in prison in connection with 2017 Idaho/Colorado murder mystery

When deputy Tim Cooper pulled over a 27-year-old man for erratic driving on Interstate 84 last September, he didn’t realize he was about to unlock a disturbing murder mystery over 800 miles away.

A year and a half later, we have a few more answers – but still don’t know exactly why Jeffrey Maynard killed John Cumby Jr. in rural Colorado, stole his van (and all his belongings), and drove to Idaho.

What we do know is Maynard has admitted to killing the 63-year-old Cumby – and will spend up to 44 years in prison for the murder.

The case was resolved thanks to some excellent investigative work in two states — by Cooper and other members of the Ada County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division here in Idaho, and by law enforcement in Gilpin and Jefferson counties in Colorado.

When Cooper pulled Maynard over for cutting off a semi and driving between 40-to-60 mph on I-84 on Sept. 10, 2017, Maynard didn’t have a driver’s license or any kind of identification at all – and couldn’t explain why he was driving a van filled with someone else’s stuff.

In just a short amount of time, while pulled off on the side of I-84, Cooper was able to determine who Maynard was, that he had two active arrest warrants out of Texas, figure out the van actually belonged to John Cumby, figure out Cumby was reported missing by his family almost two weeks before, and make contact with several of Cumby’s family members trying to figure out what was going on.

When talking to Cumby’s family, Cooper found out Cumby left Illinois to go camping in Colorado in August — and family members hadn’t heard from him at all for about two weeks. Maynard then told Cooper he had just been camping with Cumby in Colorado but didn’t know where he was.

Deputies then brought Maynard back to our station and interviewed him. He was lucid until asked about Cumby. Then Maynard would act confused or say he didn’t know where Cumby was.

Detectives used information gathered from Cumby’s van and cell phone, including pictures, to find his last known location – a campground near Rollinsville, Colorado.

Ada County Sheriff’s investigators also found evidence Maynard did internet searches for topics including “How to plead insanity,” “how to act insane,” “fake being insane,” “how people who fake insanity give themselves away,” and “10 uses of insanity defenses” – searches detectives later determined were done right after Cumby’s death.

Detectives called Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office detectives and explained what was going on. Colorado investigators found Cumby’s body near the campground, covered in debris, on Sept. 13, 2017.

Maynard stayed in the Ada County Jail for a few months before transferring to jail in Gilpin County, Colorado, where he was charged with murder.

Maynard eventually pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, identity theft, and aggravated motor vehicle theft  in connection with the case earlier this fall.

He will have to spend at least the next 33 years in prison before he can ask for parole.

We are just glad Deputy Cooper was patrolling I-84 that day — and doggedly pursued the truth until he figured out what was going on. Had he not been out there, who knows when the crime would have discovered?

Thanks to that effort, the Cumby family knows what happened, and the man responsible won’t be able to harm anyone else for at least the next three decades.

 

51-year-old Utah man charged with marijuana trafficking

Ada County Sheriff’s deputies seized about two pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop last week on Interstate 84.

Fifty-one year-old Navor Bustos, who was driving the car deputies pulled over, is charged with a felony count of trafficking in marijuana.

Deputies also found about eight ounces of hash oil – a concentrated form of THC found in marijuana – and a pound of Kief, a concentrated dried form of marijuana resin, in the trunk of the car.

Bustos bust

Deputies pulled Bustos over for turn signal violations while he was driving eastbound on I-84, near the Eisenman Road exit, just before noon on Friday.

It was during that investigation deputies determined Bustos, who is from Roy, Utah, was driving without a valid license.

Bustos then told deputies he was carrying a handgun. When deputies were searching Bustos for more weapons, they found a syringe in his pocket. That led to a search of the car, where a K9 drug-sniffing dog found the drugs in the trunk.

Bustos was then taken to the Ada County Jail and arrested.

The crime of trafficking in marijuana is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison.

70-year-old Eagle woman charged with vehicular manslaughter for fatal car vs. bike crash last summer

A 70-year-old motorist is charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in connection with fatal car vs. bicycle crash that occurred near the Iron Eagle Drive/Edgewood Lane intersection on Aug. 13.

Mary A. Curtis is scheduled for an arraignment hearing on Dec. 19 in 4th District Magistrate Court. The crime of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Cyclist Joann Baker, who was wearing a helmet when she was hit, was pronounced dead about three hours after the crash occurred.

Officers began their investigation just before 9 a.m. on Aug. 13 when they got a report that a passenger car going southbound on Edgewood Lane collided with a bicyclist, who was on Edgewood near the crosswalk at the Iron Eagle Drive intersection.

Witnesses say the 71-year-old Baker was crossing Edgewood on her bike, going east-to-west, when she was hit by Curtis’s car.

The force of the impact resulted in immediate and serious injury to Baker. Paramedics arrived moments later and transported her to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead just before noon.

Officials with the Ada County Coroner’s Office listed Baker’s cause of death as blunt force trauma and the manner of death as accidental.

Curtis told investigators she was looking at a school bus stopped on Iron Eagle Drive at the stop sign and didn’t see Baker crossing Edgewood Lane until it was too late.

Prosecutors determined that while Curtis was driving her car “in a inattentive, careless, or imprudent manner” at the time of the crash, she did so “without gross negligence and without malice,” which is why she is charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter instead of a felony, according to court records.

Prosecutors charged Curtis in early November.

 

Sexual assault in Southwest Ada County

Ada County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating a sexual assault that happened early this morning in Southwest Ada County.

A little before 6:30 a.m. Friday, a woman running on West Brogan Drive between South Seabreeze Way and South Elinor Rose Avenue was attacked from behind by a man. The man grabbed the woman around the neck and she immediately began kicking and fighting to get away from him. The woman fell to the ground in the street where the man choked her until she lost consciousness.

When the woman regained consciousness, the man was holding her down on the ground. Evidence suggests the man sexually assaulted the runner while she was unconscious. Soon after the woman woke up, the man ran east from West Brogan Street toward Seabreeze. A car driving east on Brogan near Elinor Rose saw the woman in the road and stopped to help her and call 911. Ada County Sheriff’s deputies and Ada County paramedics responded and transported the woman to the hospital.

The woman has significant injuries to her neck but they are not believed to be life-threatening.

Detectives are actively searching for the man responsible for the sexual assault. He approached the runner from behind, so she did not see his face. He is believed to have been wearing medium gray sweatpants and sweatshirt with a dark colored beanie or hood over his head. The man’s age, ethnicity, hair and skin color are not known.

“This was a shockingly brazen assault. We are working to find the man responsible as quickly as possible. I know this is scary. Safety is our first priority. We have all of our resources working this investigation and will have extra patrols in the area. Please help us by being aware of your surroundings. Look out for anyone or anything suspicious, and report unusual activity as soon as possible. Together, we can ensure you stay safe and secure in the places you live, work, and play,” said Sheriff Steve Bartlett

Anyone with information about this assault, the man or anything that seemed unusual or suspicious in this area today or in recent weeks is urged to call Detective Shellie Strolberg at 208.577.3788.

Do you recognize this theft suspect –  and his white truck?

Detectives are trying to find a man who stole two chainsaws, a portable generator, and an air compressor from a Foothills area home earlier this month.

These pictures show the man, and the truck he was driving, as he was taking the equipment from a home in the 7900 block of Pierce Park Lane around 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 4.

Witnesses say the man parked his truck on the hillside and climbed up, coming back down moments later with the chainsaws and other equipment, and then drove away.

The man who stole the equipment had a beard and was wearing a red jacket.

He was driving a late-1980s era Chevy or GMC pickup truck, with a toolbox in the bed. The truck did not appear to have a regular Idaho license plates, but it may have had a speciality plate or one from another state.

(We know the photo quality isn’t the best, but we are hoping someone recognizes the man and his truck).

Anyone with information should call (208) 577-3597 or send an email to cau@adacounty.id.gov

48-year-old Oregon man charged with kidnapping Eagle teenager

A 48-year-old man is charged with felony kidnapping and lewd conduct after sheriff’s deputies found a teenage girl from Eagle inside his Oregon house late last month.

Andy Alan Vogt is being held in the Ada County Jail on a $1 million bond. Ada County Sheriff’s deputies picked up Vogt from the Grant County Jail and brought him back to Boise late Wednesday night.

Vogt has been in custody since Oct. 29, shortly after Grant County Sheriff’s deputies, acting on a tip from Eagle Police, went to Vogt’s Mount Vernon home and found the teenage girl there, who had been reported missing as a runaway three days before.

Evidence indicates the girl, who is under the age of 16, met Vogt through the online “MeetMe” app earlier this fall. He then drove to Eagle in late October, where he met the girl and had illegal sexual contact with her.

The girl was last seen by her family on the evening of Oct. 26. They reported her missing early the next day. Evidence indicates Vogt forced the girl to leave Eagle with him on Oct. 26.

The criminal complaint filed against Vogt says he did that for the purpose of “committing any lewd and lascivious act upon any child under the age of 16.”

Eagle Police and Ada County Sheriff’s detectives working on the case were able to track the girl to Mount Vernon, where they contacted Grant County deputies and asked for their help. A short time later, deputies found the girl and arrested Vogt, who initially told investigators the girl was 19 years old.

Vogt is set to make his initial court appearance Thursday afternoon. The crimes of kidnapping and lewd conduct are both punishable by up to life in prison.

Recognize this Toyota pickup? It was last seen driving away from a construction burglary in Eagle

Eagle Police are trying to find the owner of this Toyota Tacoma pickup, which was seen driving away from a late-night construction site burglary in Eagle last month.

white Tacoma

There’s been quite a bit of talk lately about construction site burglaries all over the Treasure Valley. Home construction continues to be white-hot – especially in the western Ada County – and that means more opportunities for criminals.

We’ve had 23 reports of construction site burglaries in Eagle since Jan. 1 — including one that occurred around midnight on Oct. 12. Someone stole over $4,700 worth of tools and materials by breaking into a locked trailer near a house under construction in the 1300 block of Longhorn Street, which is in the Floating Feather Road/West Palmer Lane neighborhood.

A nearby surveillance camera picked up this Toyota Tacoma, pulling a trailer, leaving the home around the same time the burglary occurred.

White truck 2

(We know the photo quality isn’t the best, but we’re hoping someone will recognize the truck regardless).

The theft wasn’t reported to Eagle Police until Oct. 15, when crews returned to work and found all their tools missing.

It wasn’t the first burglary reported from that neighborhood this year, either. We would really like to find whoever was driving that truck and ask them why they were there that night – and if they have any info about other similar burglaries in the area.

Anyone with information should call (208) 577-3851 or send an email to cau@adacounty.id.gov

For the 23 construction site burglary cases in Eagle this year, the total value of materials and tools stolen is estimated at just over $49,000.

We are always reminding people the best thing they can do to avoid being victims of crime is to lock their stuff up – and that advice certainly applies to construction contractors.

Our investigators continue to meet with local builders to encourage them to securely lock all construction sites when they are done for the day.

Equipment and supply “depots” can be secured with temporary fencing.

Removing trailers from work sites at the end of the night might be an inconvenience but is a great way to prevent theft.

Arranging supply deliveries just before installation is an effective theft deterrent. Idle and unsecured construction sites, with equipment in plain view, can attract the wrong kind of attention.

 

Detectives are investigating house rental scams across the Treasure Valley

Finding an affordable place to rent in the Treasure Valley these days can be pretty difficult. So if you find a really good rental deal on a house or apartment while searching online, be sure to make sure it’s legit before giving anyone a cent of your money.

We’ve had several reports of rental scams over the past few months where people go on to online classified sites like Craigslist, find an ad for a house to rent, send the “owner” a payment, and then find out when they try to move in that the whole thing is a scam.

The biggest red flag is when whoever wants to rent you a house asks you to wire them money. As the Federal Trade Commission says, there is never a good reason to wire money to pay a security deposit, application fee, or first month’s rent.

For instance, in early October we got a call from a man who narrowly avoided losing over $1,000 when he tried to rent a home in the Maple Grove/Lake Hazel roads neighborhood. He responded to an ad on Craigslist for the home, and began texting with someone claiming to be the owner.

He filled out what turned out to be a bogus application online – one that asked for personal info — and was “approved” to rent.

The “owner” then texted him the code to a key lock box at the home so he could take a tour. The code worked, so he checked it out inside. That’s when the “owner” told him to go to a nearby store and wire her $2,200 to cover first month rent and security deposit.

A clerk at the store told the man it sounded like a scam. So he stopped the transfer and called us.

That was just one of three similar scams for homes in the same neighborhood this fall. In one of the other cases, the fake owner convinced the victims to wire her over $1,000 before they could sign a lease.

Detectives are working to figure out how the scammers are able to get the correct combinations to unlock the key boxes of homes for sale, and are urging area realtors to be extra careful giving that info out.

Anyone with information should send an email to cau@adacounty.id.gov or call (208) 577-3733.

So remember, if you are looking to rent a home, never pay a security deposit or first month’s rent before you sign the lease.

Be very wary if you never actually meet the person who is trying to rent a house to you, or they claim to be out of the country.

For more info and tips on how to avoid being scammed, check out this Federal Trade Commission tip sheet

 

 

ITD is allowing people to renew their Driver’s License/State ID by mail through December

We know that residents of Ada County who need to get or renew their Driver’s License or State ID have had to endure long lines and wait times at our Benjamin Lane office since late summer.

It’s been very frustrating for our staff as well. There is nothing we’d like better than to get our Driver’s License customers in and out in a reasonable amount of time.

So we are thrilled that the Idaho Transportation Department is going to allow people who need to renew their Driver’s License or State ID over the next few months to do so by mail.

So that means if your license or ID is set to expire in November or December, or if you had to get an extension of your credentials through Oct. 31 because you hadn’t been able to renew, you can now do that by mail and avoid the lines.

The ITD has been exploring solutions to provide relief to Idahoans who need to get or renew a license or ID – and the county sheriff’s offices that provides the service — since computer system issues forced offices to close for several days in August.

Since then, the wait times have been significant. We’ve had a backlog of customers, and the computer system has been slower — a combination that has resulted in wait times that can exceed an hour or more.

So being able to renew your driver’s license by mail is excellent news for people who want to avoid lines.

The ITD plan is to allow the mail-in renewals through the end of December.

You should know what you can’t get the Star Card, Idaho’s Real ID, with the mail-in renewal. People who want a Star Card must present the documents in person at the Benjamin Lane office to meet federal requirements.

Also, people who need to renew their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) can’t do it by mail. You have to renew in person at the Benjamin Lane office.

The ITD estimates it will be able to process the mail-in renewals in 12-to-14 business days once they arrive.

There are some other restrictions to the mail-in option you should know about, like how you can only get a four-year renewal; your driving credential must be valid; you must be between the ages of 18-and-69; and you haven’t changed your name.

If you want a new photo, you have to renew in person.

The ITD will send a letter to everyone whose license expires in November and December, letting them know about the mail-in option. Go here to print out a copy of the letter to apply for the mail-in option.

You should also know that you can schedule an appointment  time for the Benjamin Lane office online. Please be aware that appointments are mostly booked through mid-December.

We realize the long lines at our Driver’s License Office have been a problem for our citizens, and we hope the mail-in option will release some of the pressure.

For more info from the ITD, check out https://itd.idaho.gov/news/dmv-to-offer-mail-in-renewals-for-drivers-licenses-that-expire-in-november-and-december/

 

The CITF investigation into fatal home invasion/house fire case from last fall is finished

A prosecutor has determined two Ada County Sheriff’s deputies who shot at a man who broke into a stranger’s house last fall and set it on fire did not break any laws – and our internal investigation determined deputies Chris Matkin and Sage Hickam did not violate any ACSO policies.

Our investigators did find that Matkin, Hickam, and the all the other deputies involved in the violent confrontation with Pavel Florea the night of Sept. 27, 2017 showed the professionalism and courage of ACSO employees at their best, as they put themselves in significant danger in an attempt to save the people inside the burning home.

Twins Falls Prosecutor Grant Loebs reviewed the Ada County Critical Incident Task Force (CITF) report and found that the 35-year-old Florea committed numerous crimes —including burglary and aggravated assault — when he broke into a home in the 1500 block of Amity Road that night, pointed a shotgun at the deputies who responded to a 911 call for help from the homeowner, and then lit the house on fire with three other people inside.

Only one person inside the house survived. Three adults died as a result of that fire, including Florea.

The CITF, led by Boise Police, investigated the case for several months and are able to shed some light on the mystery of why Florea broke into the home of someone he had no connection with.

Investigators developed evidence Florea was a heavy methamphetamine user who got into disputes with several different people in the days and weeks leading up to the incident.

An autopsy revealed an extremely high level of meth in Florea’s system at the time of his death.

The investigation did not uncover a direct link between Florea and the people who lived at the Amity Road home but detectives did establish two theories — either that Florea may have seen a Facebook ad for a moving sale at the home and then tried to break in and steal items from inside, or mistook the house on the corner of Amity and Linder roads for a nearby home that had a history of drug activity.

It remains unclear why Florea pointed a shotgun at deputies Matkin and Hickam and threatened to kill them, if he shot at the deputies, or why he set the house on fire after deputies shot at him.

Investigators recovered the shotgun Florea was holding, but were not able to determine if had been fired that night. They did find evidence Florea stole it from an acquaintance a short time before Sept. 27.

Autopsy reports show that Florea died from acute carbon monoxide poisoning. His remains were badly damaged by the fire, but Ada County Coroner’s officials did find what appeared to be a gunshot wound to his foot, indicating our deputies likely hit Florea with at least one of the six rounds they fired that night.

Coroner’s officials ruled the manner of Florea’s death was a suicide. The fire reduced most of the home to ashes that night. Investigators determined some kind of accelerant, like gas, was used to start the fire. All evidence points to Florea starting the fire.

Hickam and Matkin were not injured in the incident. Deputy Hickam has been with the ACSO for 11 years. Deputy Matkin has been with the agency for 5 years.

The incident began around 10:30 p.m. Sept. 27 when a resident called 911 to report a prowler. That caller said she heard pounding at the door and could hear someone trying to break in, but didn’t know who it was.

Hickam and Matkin arrived moments later and found the man, holding a long gun, coming out of the home.

A verbal confrontation ensued. Deputies told the man to put the gun down but he refused. A short time later, deputies fired at the man.

He went back inside the home, said he was shot, and refused to come back out.

Deputies were in contact with the woman who called 911, who told them there were two other people in the house and none of them knew who the armed man was or why he broke in.

By 10:45 p.m., the house was on fire.

More deputies had arrived by that time. They broke out windows and tried to direct the residents out of the home.

Two of the adults – a man and a woman – inside were able to get out. The third, an elderly woman, was not.

Paramedics treated the two residents at the scene and transported them to the hospital.

One of the residents was flown to the Salt Lake City Burn Center, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Deputies who set up a perimeter around the home did not see any evidence Florea had been able to get out of the burning house. His remains were later found inside near where he was last seen.

Meridian and Kuna fire crews kept the blaze from spreading, but the home was a total loss.

The case was investigated by the CITF, which does an independent investigation of all uses of lethal force by law enforcement in Ada County.

For more information, check out the  complete CITF report.

Ada County Sheriff Steve Bartlett wants to thank Boise and Meridian Police; the Ada County Coroner’s Office; Meridian and Kuna fire departments; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms for all their help on such a complex and demanding case.