Thursday, January 29, 2015

Deputies Respond To ATV Crash

One Fatality, Deputies Respond To ATV Crash

Mesa County, Colo. -- Just after 5 p.m. today, deputies along with Lower Valley Fire Department responded to the area of 22 and M Roads, for a report of an ATV crash. Deputies are now handling a death investigation regarding this incident, along with the Mesa County Coroner.

The Coroner will determine cause and manner of death, along with releasing the identity of the deceased. 

Media On-Scene: Deputy Carnes will provide a short on-camera interview when he is available, tonight. He is currently on-scene as a responding deputy. Please be patient. Also, we ask the media to be considerate of grieving family/friends who may also be at the scene. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

GJ Man Arrested On 24 Counts of Sex Assault Charges

GJ Man Arrested On Sex Assault Related Charges

Larry D. Church,
Dec 2014 MCSO Booking Photo
Mesa County, Colo. -- Larry Dean Church, 53, was arrested today following a 22 page warrant being issued for his arrest related to multiple sex assault charges. An adult victim reported a sex assault incident with Larry, as the suspect, in early December 2014. What the investigator found was seven additional victims of sex assault, ranging in age from 6-years-old to 21-years-old.

Twenty two of the 24 counts lodged against Larry are felonies, with two misdemeanor charges of unlawful sexual contact. Reports of sex assault or attempted sex assault should be made to 911, and anyone needing resources for child victims of sex assault should contact the Western Slope Center for Children

Larry will be formally advised of the charges and likely have a bond set tomorrow afternoon. For updated bond information on anyone currently in our Detention Facility, visit our Inmate Inquiry webpage. 

Clifton Road Closed For Short Time, One Arrested

One Suspect Arrested On Warrant, Road Closed

Mesa County, Colo. -- Joshua B. Giron, 32, formerly of Palisade (currently homeless), was arrested on an outstanding warrant with a $500 cash only bond, yesterday at 3250 Collyer Avenue, Clifton. Patrol deputies conducted further investigation and ultimately charged Joshua with aggravated robbery, crimes against an at-risk adult, theft and possession of a weapon by a previous offender, in connection to an armed robbery. That armed robbery was reported about 1:45 p.m., yesterday, in the area of 32 1/8 and E Roads, Clifton. The victim reported a single male driving a white passenger car pointed a handgun at him and leaving the scene with a single pack of cigarettes and two dollars in cash from the victim.

Deputies were dispatched to a possible weapon offense at 3:40 p.m., in the Clifton area, with the suspect description similar to the earlier robbery incident. Ultimately, deputies located the suspect vehicle and an adult male matching the description of the suspect at the Collyer address, at about 4:30 p.m. Joshua was arrested without incident by deputies.

Joshua was charged with regard to the first incident and booked into the Mesa County Detention Facility on the charges along with the warrant. Joshua will be formally advised in court this afternoon, where he will also be given a bond for the new charges. Inmate information, including updated bond details for any inmate currently in our Facility, can be obtained online at our Inmate Inquiry webpage.

**Booking Photo: Will be released and posted here when it is available.


Previously Released on January 27, 2015...

Deputies are investigating the possible connection of a suspect to two (possible) armed robbery incidents reported this afternoon, separately. The suspect, is an adult male, who is currently being booked into the Mesa County Detention Facility on an outstanding warrant. 

Thirty two and one half road between Front Street and Mesa Avenue, were closed for about 30 minutes while deputies detained one suspected seen in the driveway of a residential home in that area. The suspect contacted matched the description of an armed robbery suspect reported earlier to deputies. The suspect was detained without incident. 

Further details will be made available as the investigation progresses.

Monday, January 19, 2015

One Week As Mesa County Sheriff

Sheriff Matt Lewis Sworn In Last Week

L to R: Sheriffs Claussen, Hilkey, Spiess
and Lewis.
Mesa County, Colo. -- Tomorrow will mark an official one week in office as the 21st Sheriff of Mesa County, Colorado. The 40-year-old, former Sergeant of the Complex Crimes Investigation Unit, follows in the leadership footsteps of Rebecca Spiess, Stan Hilkey and Riecke name just the leaders of the last 24 years, in this office. His name, Matt Lewis. Sheriff Matt Lewis.

The vision for this agency going forward includes a focus on the community. Articulated to staff recently in this new mission, vision and values outline.
Sheriff Matt Lewis being sworn in on January 13, 2015
by Chief Judge David Bottger

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is a progressive organization that truly values its employees and the services those employees provide to the community. Our mission and vision statement are a reflection of the values that we preserve and exemplify in the work we
perform on a daily basis.

Mission-- In partnership with citizens, the mission of the Mesa County Sheriff's Office is to enhance the quality of life in Mesa County by anticipating, identifying and resolving public safety concerns.

Vision-- The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office will always strive to be the premiere public safety organization and leader in the criminal justice system while being responsive to and maintaining positive relationships with the community we serve.

Values-- Our organization's guiding principles of Integrity, Service, and Community form the foundation for our actions and decisions in all that we do.
  • Integrity: Constant dedication to conducting ourselves to the highest standard of honesty, fairness, and decency.
  • Service: Dedicating our time and energy to the commitment of serving the practical needs of others.
  • Community: Understanding we are part of and serve something greater than ourselves and creating opportunities for positive interactions with those we serve.

National Law Enforcement Appreciation

Law Enforcement Appreciation With A Local Twist

Kids 12 & under should draw a picture or write
a letter about to a police man or deputy. Deadline
is January 30, 2015, for random winners to be
drawn for a goodie bag of prizes.
Release Date: January 8, 2015
Media Contact: Lori Mizushima/970.683.5703

We had to do something. That was the resounding statement among employees and ownership at the local Big O Tire stores. With January 9, 2015, having been designated Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (L.E.A.D.), it seemed the right time to launch a community wide campaign. This campaign invites Mesa County residents to join Big O Tires employees in supporting local law enforcement during the first National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.  Big O Tires will extend our campaign out for three weeks to include a children's drawing contest and giveaways at the three local stores.

"In light of the national controversies that have recently occurred, we felt that it would be appropriate to show our support for police personnel in hopes of encouraging positive feedback for these men and women," said Big O Tires Owner, Kevin Brooks.

January 9 through January 30, children age 12 and under are encouraged to submit drawings illustrating what police officers mean to him/her. Of these submissions, 18 will be randomly selected to receive goodie-bags filled with fun and educational items. The children's drawings will be distributed to Mesa County law enforcement in an effort to provide support to the men and women working to serve our community.

"Although our campaign lasts three weeks, we hope that we can encourage appreciation year-round," said Brooks.  Adding, Big O Tires will be hosting additional events to support law enforcement in Mesa County and across the Western Slope throughout the year. Kevin owns 9 stores on the Western Slope, and plans to engage them all in a variety of positive outreach toward law enforcement throughout 2015.

To help support Mesa County law enforcement, use the #MCSupportsPolice on social media sites. Big O Tires has posted a supporting image ( that people can change their profile picture to for the next two weeks as an outward show of support for local law enforcement. And, people should visit these three Big O Tire locations in Grand Junction, where children's drawings of what a police officer means to them, will be collected:

215 N 3rd Street 2894 North Avenue 2462 Hwy 6 & 50

UPDATE:18-Year-Old Grand Junction Woman, Missing


Updated Information Released March 1, 2015...

Mesa County, Colo. -- On Saturday, the remains of Kelly Mae Myers, 18, of Grand Junction, were recovered in the Cactus Park area of Mesa County, by investigators and the Mesa County Coroner's staff. Kelly was previously reported missing in late December 2014, by her family.

An autopsy occurred today and the Mesa County Coroner's release can be read here. At this time, it is considered a suspicious death investigation.

Further information will be released as it becomes available. This death investigation remains active and on-going.

Original Message Released January 19, 2015...

Mesa County, Colo. -- Kelly Mae Myers, 18, of Grand Junction, was reported missing to law enforcement in late December by family members in Mesa County. Her Facebook account shows no activity since December 17, 2014, and the last her family members heard from her was December 18, 2014.

A few reports to investigators have indicated Kelly might have hitch hiked to Utah. Investigators believe she has friends or known associates in the Salt Lake City area, and may have been trying to get there. Currently, investigators do not have any information she in endangered, however, her family insists this is very unusual behavior for Kelly and a great cause for concern.

It is not against the law to walk away from your "life" as an adult, however, if Kelly is okay and simply wants to be left alone, we would encourage her to contact Investigator Henderson, at (970) 244-3264, so we can share that information with her family.

At this time, she isn't considered endangered because we don't have any information or evidence to classify her case as such, but she is listed as missing. Anyone who knows her whereabouts, sees her or comes in contact with her, should call Investigator Henderson, at (970) 244-3264, or can send a private message to our agency's Facebook page. Emergency messages about Kelly can be directed to our local dispatch center, at (970) 242-6707, reference MCSO case # 14-38557.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Gyroplane Crash Reported In Mesa County, Colo.

Plane Crash Reported In Mesa County, Two On Board

Posted on January 06, 2015...

Update at 11 a.m. -- The pilot of the downed gyroplane, who was also transported to St. Mary's Hospital via Careflight from the crash scene, is Mike Burton, 53, of Pleasant Grove, Utah. The passenger of the plane, who initially declined medical attention, but later was transported by ambulance to St. Mary's Hospital, is Josh Humphries, 30, of Payson, Utah.

An inquiry was made to St. Mary's Hospital, Public Relations Division, this morning requesting a status and confirmation both patients remained hospitalized. (*As of 1 p.m., St. Mary's Hospital reports to use that Mike remains in the hospital in good condition and Josh was not admitted/or at least isn't currently admitted.) Media should contact the hospital directly for status updates.

The search and rescue mission was officially complete around 1:30 a.m., today. Thus, our involvement in this incident is concluded. Further media inquiries should be directed to the appropriate agencies, people, etc.

Update at 9:30 a.m. -- Once the second crash victim was brought out of the field, he was ultimately transported to St. Mary's Hospital by the Grand Junction Fire Department. Initially, this victim had refused medical services.

An inquiry has been placed with St. Mary's Hospital about both men's status in the hospital and their conditions. We hope to provide that update here soon and anticipate releasing their names today, as well. Check back for updates or enroll your email in the box on the right side of the blog to receive updates in your email box.

This was the first search and rescue mission in 2015, with Rural Area Deputies responding to a 103 search missions in 2014. The first mission of last year was on January 02, 2014.

Posted on January 05, 2015...

Update at 10 p.m. -- Careflight helicopter from St. Mary's Hospital is expected to land near the crash and take one patient onboard, back to the hospital. That patient has complained of back pain/issues. The second crash victim has refused medical treatment and will leave the crash site on a snowmobile, with Mesa County Search & Rescue members.

The FAA has been notified of this crash, and they will be primary on any investigation into the cause of the crash. The two men are from Utah and were traveling back to Spanish Fork, Utah, when the gyroplane crashed on private property, in a very remote area of Western Colorado.

No additional details are expected tonight. 

Update at 8:22 p.m. -- Search and Rescue members confirmed they have made contact with the two victims and the EMT on site is assessing them to determine the appropriate extraction means. Updates will continue to be posted tonight.

Update 7:30 p.m. -- Two male subjects are now reported in the crashed gyroplane, both alive. Search and Rescue members, along with Glade Park Fire Department personnel are enroute to the crash site to extract both crash victims. Injuries and to what extent are unknown at this time and will be assessed by the appropriate personnel as soon as contact is made.

Deputies are estimating about 18 rescue personnel are on-site for this mission. The command post has been established about 6 miles south of the Glade Park store. The elevation at the command post is about 8,800 feet. The gyroplane crash site is approximately 3 miles south and east of the command post (as the crow flies). More detailed crash site information will be released as it's available.

Mesa County, Colo. -- Deputies, St. Mary's Careflight, Grand Junction Fire Department, Glade Park Fire Department and Mesa County Search & Rescue personnel are all responding to a remote area in southwest Mesa County, Colorado. They are responding to a report of a gyroplane crash that came into the Delta County dispatch center at 5:26 p.m., from the pilot and reported only person on board the aircraft.

As of 6:15 p.m., first responders were still making their way to the area and have yet to make in person contact with the pilot (or view the downed plane). The crash is currently believed to be in the area of 18 and JS Roads, in Glade Park. Deputies are expecting the required use of snowmobiles to access the crash site. 

Media is encouraged to remain off site, primarily so as not to become a secondary search & rescue mission for responders to this incident. Additional updates are expected tonight and will be posted here with the most current information at the top of this post.

Cell service is expected to be spotty at best, media is encouraged to leave a detailed message or send a text/email to Heather Benjamin.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Agency Accreditation Took Place This Morning

Sheriff Rebecca Spiess & GJPC Chief John Camper

Agency Earns Accreditation, One Of Three In State

Written by Callie Varra, MCSO Intern

Today, the Mesa County Sheriff's Office is named one of three sheriff's offices in Colorado to be  accredited through the CSOC/CACP Professional Standards Committee. Chief John Camper of the GJPD presented this distinction to Sheriff Rebecca Spiess, after the department underwent six months of review.

Sheriff  Spiess & Susan Redmond
 "This is not easy," said GJPD Chief John Camper, "There are 213 established professional standards; this agency met or exceeded all the established standards."

Currently, seventeen percent of all law enforcement agencies are accredited making this process rigorous, according to CSOS/CACP. The MCSO assessor Susan Redmond felt that during her initial audit, this agency already met most requirements.

"This accreditation in itself is a piece of paper, but I think the bigger message is that we strive to provide excellent police work out in the community and this is just more evidence of that," said Redmond, the agency's Audit and Compliance Manager.

Accreditation Certificate
Although this accreditation is one to be proud of, the MCSO remembers that each day, employees main effort is to serve the community by continuing to do excellent work, despite the recognition.

"We are noted for our humility. We go out and do our jobs and we don't necessarily have to be accredited to do a great job, but it is certainly an honor,"says Sheriff Rebecca Spiess.

The accreditation is good for five years, when thereafter the sheriff's office plans to renew this distinction.We share this distinction with Arapahoe & Chaffee Counties.

*Accreditation is regarded as one of the key benchmarks for measuring the quality of an organization. Preparing for accreditation gave us an opportunity to identify our strengths and opportunities for improvement, primarily in policy and procedure, but also in SOPs. The process provided information for command to make decisions regarding operations (in all aspects of the agency) in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of performance, work product, liability and much more.
CSOC-- County Sheriffs of Colorado
CACP-- Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police