The Search for Sara Continues

It’s been nearly two months since Bend resident Sara Gomez was last seen, and even though the prime suspect in her disappearance is now dead, Sara’s family and friends continue to look for her.

Central Oregon Daily’s Austin Reed has been following this case from the beginning and caught up with the family today as they get ready for another search this weekend.

Bend police detectives are also still taking tips and hope to come up with any new clues in the case.

Increased Enforcement for Marijuana Grows

County Commissioners Hoping to Add Two New Enforcement Positions

After months of discussion with state, county and city officials the Deschutes County Commissioners made a first step today in addressing the ongoing issues with marijuana enforcement and regulations in Deschutes County.

County staff confirmed today that they will be looking into the hiring and funding of two new law enforcement positions as part of the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement team, known as CODE.
This was an idea proposed and supported by both County Commissioners and Bend City Councilors at a joint meeting held last week.

While CODE serves a tri-county area, these two positions would focus solely on enforcement in Deschutes County. The cost of hiring will likely be split, one going to the City of Bend for a police officer position and one would be a deputy sheriff position paid for by Deschutes County.

Commissioners also discussed raising the applications fees for marijuana grows in order to cover the cost of the extra time and effort county staff to deal with the complicated applications and the appeals that often follow.

Commissioners also floated the idea of putting a temporary pause on the processing of marijuana applications in order to clarify and fill in gaps in the current county code, but they are expected discuss those ideas in depth next week.

Explosion in NE Bend

Bend Police are investigating an explosion that rocked a northeast Bend neighborhood on Sunday night.

So far we known two residents of the home where life-flighted to a Portland burn unit Sunday night with third-degree burns. The Red Cross is currently helping the residents with housing assistance.

The home, located near the corner of Hidden Valley Drive and Weddell Street, sustained damage to the garage door and side yard. The damage was visible from the outside of the home and police have since posted that the home is unsafe to enter.

However, according to Central Oregon Daily’s Austin Reed, one resident of the home was allowed back into the house to collect some belongings and her dog, who was unharmed.

The Bend Police Department said they hope to release more information on what caused the explosion as the investigation progresses.

No other homes or people were impacted by the incident.

Threat Prompts Precautions at St. Charles

Officials Increase Security After Threat From ER Patient

There was an increase of security patrols at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend on Thursday due to a threat made about a month ago by a patient in the ER. St. Charles safety department and police interviewed the man who made the threat for March 8th. They did not believe the person posed any risks, but he does have a 60-day no trespass order.

However, with security and hospital staff on high alert, a staff member did report a suspicious package at a bus stop outside of the hospital. The box was checked out by security staff and turned out to be a thermometer for concrete that was being poured as part of an ongoing construction project.

There was also a small dumpster fire reported at the hospital on Thursday, but according to St. Charles staff, that was put out within about ten minutes. Bend Fire happened to be at the hospital for unrelated reasons, which allowed to respond within minutes.

The Search for Sara Continues

Friends and Family of Missing Bend Woman Conducting Coordinated Search on East Side of Bend

Friends and family of Sara Gomez met at Big Sky Park at 8am on Saturday morning with a group of more than 50 volunteers to conduct a coordinated search for the missing 24-year-old woman.


Organizers showed the group a map of possible areas to search, and everyone broke up into teams to look in different areas.
Gomez was last seen on Monday, February 19, outside her workplace at Albertson’s in Bend, and Bend Police have been supervising searches at the Knott Landfill on the southeast side of Bend and have asked residents who live east of the intersection of Hamby and Ward to search their private properties for any possible evidence related to the disappearance of Gomez.

Arrests Made in Super 8 Motel Robbery

Updated: Thursday Jan. 11, 2018 2:40 p.m.

The two suspects in a robbery of Super 8 Motel on Monday morning are in custody as of 11 p.m. Wednesday night, according to the Bend Police Department.

Bend residents Ryan Donovan Simpson, 33, and Scott Hilton Sullivan, 32, are both in custody as of Thursday afternoon.

After putting out a wanted notice on Simpson, police were about to locate him around 3:00 pm and were able to contact him in a passenger car during a traffic stop in the parking lot of the Motel West.

Simpson was taken into custody for Robbery I and Theft II.

According to Bend Police, based on information obtained during Simpson’s arrest and information obtained throughout the three day investigation, detectives obtained a search warrant to for a residence in Southeast Bend.

Evidence found during the search tied both Simpson and Sullivan to the robbery at the Super 8 Motel and a robbery at The Days Inn and Suites.

Simpson is lodged at the Deschutes County Adult Jail on charges for both robberies, including two counts of Robbery I and two counts of Theft II.

Sullivan, who was arrested on Tuesday and charges with Robbery I and Theft II,  will have charges of Robbery I and Theft II added for the robbery at The Days Inn and Suites.

Updated: Wednesday Jan. 10, 2018 3:00 p.m.

Bend Police are seeking Bend resident Ryan Donovan Simpson, 33, and have identified him as the second suspect of a motel robbery on Monday.

According to the Bend Police Department as the investigation into Monday’s robbery moved forward, the Bend Police Department found information regarding Ryan Simpson. On Wednesday at 2 p.m. police issued a statement that Simpson is wanted as he was involved in the robbery at the Super 8 Motel on January 8. At this time Simpson is believed to be armed and dangerous.

Police are asking the public for help. If you know where Simpson is located or have information about this investigation,  call 541-693-6911 or contact us through private messages via our Facebook (@BendPoliceDepartmentOfficial) page or Twitter account (@Bendcitypolice). Police are warning the public that if you see Simpson, do not approach him and call 911.

Posted Jan. 9, 2018

Bend Police have named a suspect in the Super 8 Motel Robbery that occurred in the early morning hours on Monday.

Scott Hilton Sullivan, a 32 year old Bend resident, is suspected to be one of the two males, both estimated to be in their 30s and both seen clad in dark hoodies with bandanas covering their faces in surveillance videos, who robbed the motel around 4:30 a.m. Monday morning.

According to the Bend Police Department, the two men displayed a handgun and then took an undisclosed amount of cash from the hotel along with the personal property of one hotel employee.

After the robbery was reported on Monday, Bend Police Department investigated the incident with help from the Prineville Police Department, Deschutes County Adults Jail, Deschutes County Parole and Probation and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

Today Bend Police released Sullivan’s name as a suspect. Bend Police detective already located Sullivan, who was in a vehicle in the parking lot of the Rooster Deli. Detectives recovered items used in the robbery and took Sullivan into custody. He is currently lodged at the Deschutes County Jail for Robbery I, Theft II and for an active probation violation warrant.

Bend Police served a search warrant in a room at the Shiloh Inn and found additional items related to the robbery.

The Bend Police Department is committed to a resolution in this robbery, as well as the robbery that occurred at the Days Inn and Suites a day prior. The investigations into both of these robberies are ongoing.

All in the Family

Central Oregon Daily’s Curtis Vogel speaks with a Bend family that’s been serving and protecting the community for three generations.

When Bend Police Lieutenant Clint Burleigh puts on his uniform he carries on a family tradition that’s been going on in Bend for seven different decades. Burleigh is the third member of his family to serve in the department. Clint’s grandfather, Bob, started with the Bend PD in 1951, and Clint’s father, Dave, started his police career in Bend in 1974.

Clint now has two children of his own, a 13-year-old and 9-year-old. He said if they came to him and asked about becoming a police officer he wouldn’t recommend that they do the job just anywhere, but if they felt strongly about joining the Bend Police Department he would support them. He said he believes Bend PD does things the right way.