Sheriff questions need for investigation

by Howard Apple­gate
    The bones of Charles Sevi­gny LaFontaine are con­tained in a card­board box on a shelf in the evi­dence room of the Deschutes Coun­ty Sheriff’s Office. Whether or not that will remain his rest­ing place for long was the sub­ject of debate between our own Sher­iff Sweet and local com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers.
    Although LaFontaine’s remains were found in a dry gulch in Wilbur Coun­ty, the bones are in tem­po­rary cus­tody of Deschutes Coun­ty. Because Wilbur Coun­ty has no foren­sic facil­i­ties, the remains were sent to Bend in March to be iden­ti­fied. But fur­ther foren­sics inves­ti­ga­tion will cost Wilbur Coun­ty plen­ty, accord­ing to Sher­iff Sweet.
    “Inves­ti­gat­ing an old case like this may not be fea­si­ble,” Sher­iff Sweet com­ment­ed at a recent Wilbur Coun­ty Busi­ness Asso­ci­a­tion (WCBA) meet­ing. “Too much time has passed, every­one involved is old or dead. I don’t see how we can ever find out what hap­pened.”
    Most present were in agree­ment, includ­ing Ver­non Van Bib­ber, one of Germaine’s longest liv­ing res­i­dents, and the only one present who actu­al­ly met LaFontaine.
    “It would be a waste of tax dol­lars, and coun­ty resources. It might cost this com­mu­ni­ty more than it can afford,” Van Bib­ber stat­ed.
    Oth­ers dis­agreed.
    “He was mur­dered, and he deserves our best effort to find out how that hap­pened, just like we would do for any­one else,” Har­lan McCoy stat­ed.
    Sev­er­al of those present sup­port­ed McCoy’s posi­tion, but Sher­iff Sweet refused to say whether or not he would involve his office in fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion.

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