Town of Boone, NC

Police News Releases


Release Date: June 9, 2017
Additional Arrests Made in Stabbing Incident
On Wednesday, May 4, 2017, at approximately 2:28 AM, Boone police responded to 219 Crossing Way for a fight in the parking lot involving several persons. Shortly after arriving on-scene, officers were notified by Watauga Medical Center that a subject had been brought to the emergency department suffering from a stab wound. The victim, Teh'Ron Fuller, 21 years-of-age, reported that he had been stabbed in the parking lot of 219 Crossing Way. Mr. Fuller is an Appalachian State University student. Mr. Fuller is currently at Wake Forest Baptists Medical Center receiving treatment for his injuries.

As a result of the investigation and after consultation with the District Attorney, the following individuals have been arrested and charged with the offenses listed.

Ke'monte Tayvon Hayes
19 years-of-age
Fallview Lane, Boone, NC
Misdemeanor Assault and Battery
$1,500 secured bond pending a July 21, 2017, appearance in Watauga District Court.

Isaiah Diontae Lewis
21 years-of-age
Fallview Lane, Boone, NC
Misdemeanor Assault and Battery
$1,500 secured bond pending a July 21, 2017, appearance in Watauga District Court.

Marlin Lamar Johnson
21 years-of-age
Rock Haven Road, Carrboro, NC
Misdemeanor Assault and Battery
$1,500 secured bond pending a July 21, 2017, appearance in Watauga District Court.

Warrants for three additional subjects have been obtained but have not been served. Arrestee information will be released once the warrants have been served and release conditions assigned.
 Kemonte Tayvon Hayes  Isaiah Diontae Lewis  Marlin Lamar Johnson
Ke'monte Tayvon Hayes Isaiah Diontae Lewis Marlin Lamar Johnson

Release Date: June 5, 2017
Arson Suspect Arrested
On Thursday, June 1, 2017, at approximately 11:25 PM, an unknown white male was recorded on video attempting to set fire to the Daniel Boon Inn, 130 Hardin Street.

Today, Boone Police Investigators arrested Peter Spencer Horn, 31 years-of-age, of Grand Boulevard, in Boone. Mr. Horn was charged with Felonious Burning Other Buildings in violation of North Carolina General Statute 14-67.1. Mr. Horn was taken before a Watauga County Magistrate where a $10,000 secured bond was set pending a July 21, 2017, appearance in Watauga County District Court.

In the fall of 2016 two Tsunami surveillance systems were installed in the downtown Boone area. Video from the Tsunami surveillance system led to the identification and eventual arrest of the suspect in this case.

We would also like to thank the public for the tips we received through High Country Crime Stoppers.
Peter Spencer Horn    
Peter Spencer Horn    

Release Date: May 19, 2017
 
On Wednesday, May 3, 2017, at approximately 9:37 PM, Boone Police responded to a reported home invasion at 195 Green Street. Once on-scene, officers found a man suffering a non-life threatening gunshot wound.

As a result of the investigation into this incident, Austin Tyler Cotton, 21 years-of-age, of Sanford, NC, was charged with Misdemeanor Breaking and Entering. He was taken before a Watauga County Magistrate where a $5000 unsecured bond was set pending a June 2, 2017, appearance in Watauga District Court.

Investigators and the District Attorney's Office are continuing to collaborate on this investigation.
Austin Tyler Cotton
 
   
Austin Tyler Cotton
   

Release Date: May 5, 2017
Arrest Made in Stabbing Incident
On Wednesday, May 4, 2017, at approximately 2:28 AM, Boone police responded to 219 Crossing Way for a fight in the parking lot involving several persons. Shortly after arriving on-scene, officers were notified by Watauga Medical Center that a subject had been brought to the emergency department suffering from a stab wound. The victim, Teh'Ron Fuller, 21 years-of-age, reported that he had been stabbed in the parking lot of 219 Crossing Way. Mr. Fuller is an Appalachian State University student. Mr. Fuller is currently at Wake Forest Baptists Medical Center receiving treatment for his injuries.

As a result of the investigation, Malik Jaleel Simpson, 23 years-of-age, of Crossing Way, Boone, has been arrested and charged with one count of Felonious Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury. Mr. Simpson was given a $50,000 secured bond pending a June 2, 2017, court appearance in Watauga District Court.

During the investigation, it has been determined that this incident was part of a much larger fight involving multiple people. The investigation is continuing.
Malik Jaleel Simpson
 
 
Malik Jaleel Simpson    

Release Date: May 4, 2017
 
On Wednesday, May 4, 2017, at approximately 2:28 AM, Boone police responded to 219 Crossing Way for a fight in the parking lot involving several persons. Shortly after arriving on-scene, officers were notified by Watauga Medical Center that a subject had been brought to the emergency department suffering from a stab wound. The victim, Teh'Ron Fuller, 21 years-of-age, reported that he had been stabbed in the parking lot of 219 Crossing Way. Mr. Fuller is an Appalachian State University student. Mr. Fuller is currently at Wake Forest Baptists Medical Center receiving treatment for his injuries.

At this time, it appears this incident started as an altercation outside a local bar. Later a fight involving multiple parties occurred in the parking lot of 219 Crossing Way. Detectives are currently interviewing witnesses and processing the crime scene. The investigation is continuing.

Release Date: May 4, 2017
 
On Wednesday, May 3, 2017, at approximately 9:37 PM, Boone Police responded to a reported home invasion at 195 Green Street. Once on-scene, officers found a man suffering a non-life threatening gunshot wound. The male resident reported shooting the suspect after he forced entry into the apartment. The suspect was transported to Watauga Medical Center for treatment and was later released. The resident did not know the suspect.

The investigation is continuing and the identity of the parties will not be released at this time.

Release Date: May 2, 2017
 
A North Wilkesboro woman has been arrested on multiple felony charges, accused of stealing money from her Boone area attorney employer.

Krista Ruann Lambert, age 42 of North Wilkesboro, has been charged with four felony counts of embezzlement and two counts of felony financial transaction card fraud. Lambert, in her former position of office manager for Turner Law Office, allegedly wrote multiple checks against the firm's operating account and made various credit card charges using the firm's business credit cards, all unauthorized and for personal purposes.

Lambert was arrested on Wednesday, April 26th, and was released on a $10,000 secured bond with a June 1st, 2017 court date.
Krista Ruann Lambert    
Krista Ruann Lambert    

Release Date: April 28, 2017
Further Details regarded Armed Robbery in Boone, NC
On Thursday, April 27, 2017, Boone Police responded to 137 Stoneybrook Court in reference to an Armed Robbery. It was reported that subjects robbed a victim at gunpoint.

Following leads, resident sightings, and other investigative work, police were able to take three suspects into custody:

Isaiah Scott Beck
07/25/1998
110 Upton Street
Lexington, NC 27295
(2) counts of Felony Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, (2) counts of Felony Conspiracy to Commit Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon and (1) count of Misdemeanor Assault of a Female.

Javier Isaiah Holloway
11/29/1996
700 Moore Dr
Lexington, NC 27292
(2) counts of Felony Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, (2) counts of Felony Conspiracy to Commit Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon and (1) count of Misdemeanor Assault of a Female.

Daniel Alejandro Silva
180 D and O Dr
Lexington, NC 27292
(2) counts of Felony Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, (2) counts of Felony Conspiracy to Commit Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon

Each subject was assigned a court date of June 1st, 2017 and held on a $100,000 secured bond.

Boone Police continue to investigate this incident. Anyone with additional information is urged to contact the Boone Police Department and ask for Detective Jason Reid.

"Thank you to those who called the police department to assist us during this chase. These subjects had demonstrated that they were a danger to others, and their quick apprehension was important to safeguard our community". ~ Dana Crawford
Isaiah Beck Javier Holloway Daniel Silva
Isaiah Scott Beck
Javier Isaiah Holloway Daniel Alejandro Silva

Release Date: April 27, 2017
 Armed Robbery - Updated
An armed robbery occurred in the Stoneybrook Court area of Boone on Thursday afternoon, and the search for suspects crossed Boone.

At approximately 1:30 p.m. on Thursday April 27, residents of an apartment on Stoneybrook Court reported they had been robbed at gunpoint at their residence. Responding officers detained one suspect as he was leaving in a vehicle, but two additional suspects were seen by witnesses fleeing the area on foot. A sighting of the suspects in the area of NC Highway 105 near old High School drive resulted in a second suspect being apprehended. Officers are actively searching the wooded areas there for the third suspect.

5:27 p.m. UPDATE: Three suspects are now in custody, no additional suspects are sought in this incident. A future release will be issued with additional details as they are gathered.

Release Date: April 25, 2017
 
On April 20, 2017, the Boone Police Department received a call of an unresponsive person at 243 Jefferson Road, Apartment 6. Mr. Logan Adam Brown of Boone, age 24, was found deceased in his apartment. At this time, there is no indication of foul play. Final determination of death is pending autopsy and toxicology results. Mr. Brown is not a student.

Release Date: April 19, 2017
James Martin Roberts Reporting Missing 1-Year Ago
On April 21, 2016, James "Martin" Roberts was reported missing to the Boone Police Department by his roommates. This being the one year anniversary of Martin's disappearance, the Boone Police Department would like to recap the efforts taken to find Martin during the last 365 days. Throughout the past year, many agencies and individuals have contributed to our investigation. It is obvious that people really care about Martin's welfare and everyone wants to help bring him home.

Tips and Sightings
Martin has not been located and, to this date, the law enforcement community has not received any confirmable information that would help find him. Many pieces of information have been learned and lots of people have called in possible tips and sightings. The search for Martin had led law enforcement to check tips as far as the Outer Banks and up into Virginia. The Boone Police Department has also worked with various agencies along the Appalachian Trail and as far away as Ohio.

Land & SONAR Water Searches for Martin
Because there is no real information about Martin's whereabouts, the Boone Police Department has been searching for him anywhere he could be found. Many land searches have been conducted by both officers and citizens. These searches have occurred in many locations within the High Country. The Boone Police Department utilized the North Catawba Fire & Rescue Dive Team during this investigation. This agency provided both personnel and specialized equipment to assist in the searches, including a rescue boat equipped with SONAR to search bodies of water. They also provided trained rescue divers to investigate anything discovered by the SONAR equipment.

The Appalachian State University Police Department has conducted several thorough searches of their entire campus and the areas surrounding. This includes all tunnels and rooftops.

Search dogs
Two separate teams of specialized human remains detection (HRD) dog teams have been used during this investigation. The use of these trained dogs allows searchers to cover more ground efficiently. One of these teams were used for land and another for water. The NC State Bureau of Investigation's HRD dog teams helped search multiple land area locations on multiple dates. The Boone Police Department has also utilized Dr. Lisa Briggs' HRD dog team. Dr. Briggs is a Criminologist with Western Carolina University and she owns a highly successful HRD dog named "Layla." Layla is specially trained to search for human remains contained within bodies of water. Layla was used to search two bodies of water near the Blue Ridge Parkway. The North Catawba Fire & Rescue Dive Team again assisted with their personnel and equipment to assist in these water searches.

Helicopter
Early in the search for Martin Roberts, the North Carolina Highway Patrol provided the use of their pilots and a specially equipped helicopter to search densely wooded areas. This helicopter was equipped with a "FLIR" camera. FLIR senses infrared radiation that is typically from a heat source. FLIR was specifically used in this situation to search for human being or campfires.

Assisting Agencies
The Boone Police Department is a small agency and has reached out to many public safety partners to investigate this case. Just some of the contributing agencies are the Appalachian State University Police Department, the Watauga County Sheriff's Office, Blowing Rock Police Department, the NC State Bureau of Investigation and State Highway Patrol, the NC and US Park Rangers, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and the National Missing Unidentified Persons System (NAMUS) and the US Secret Service. These are just a few of the assisting agencies.

The Roberts Family
The Boone Police Department continues to work alongside the Robert's family. We have used their family as a resource throughout this investigation. The Robert's family has been crucial in reporting various tips and sightings that were not reported to law enforcement. The Robert's family have been a joy to work with during this tragic situation.

Case Reviews
The Boone Police Department held many meetings, as often as daily, during this investigation. On several occasions, the entire Investigations Division have met together and gone over the entire case completely to brainstorm any new ideas to investigate.

When this investigation began to slow down and investigators felt they were running out of leads to follow-up on, the Boone Police Department sought the assistance of an outside expert in the field of criminal investigations. Scott Hartley from the North Carolina Justice Academy was brought in for two days to do a complete review of the case, including all actions taken by the Boone Police Department. Mr. Hartley was able to look at this investigation with "fresh eyes," and point out areas of the investigation that needed more work. Mr. Hartley's insight was very helpful and the Boone Police Department began following-up on these new ideas.

Where are we now?
Unfortunately, the Boone Police Department has not been able to uncover any confirmable or credible information that has allowed investigators to learn the whereabouts of Martin Roberts.

Where are we going with this case?
The Boone Police Department will continue to look for Martin until we find him. This week a separate outside expert in criminal investigations is reviewing the entire case for yet another "fresh eyes" perspective on this case. The Boone Police Department is also talking with Western Carolina University about possibly arranging a large-scale missing person case study by a large group of undergraduate criminology students. The Boone Police Department still continues to receive information and tips about Martin, these tips are treated as a high priority and are followed-up on immediately.

Want more details about this case?
For much more information about this investigation, including interviews with Martin Roberts' father and the case investigators go to: http://www.thevanishedpodcast.com. Click on Listen / Episodes and scroll down to the Martin Roberts case.

Martin was last seen wearing a black, short sleeve, Appalachian State windbreaker, khaki shorts, gray new balance shoes and a white golf visor hat.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Boone Police Department at 828-268-6900 or High Country Crime Stoppers at 828-268-6959 / 828-737-0125. You may also submit a Crime Stoppers Tip via our website at:

https://www.tipsubmit.com/webtips.aspx?AgencyID=1251

You can also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) and place "NCTIP plus your tip" in the body of the message.

Release Date: April 11, 2017
 
On April 9, 2017 at approximately 1:56 AM, Boone Police responded to 137 Stoneybrook Court in Boone regarding a traumatic injury resulting from a reported Assault. The victim was transported to Watauga Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead. The other involved party in this case is the son of the victim.

The decedent is Gary Robert Caddell, 55 years-of-age, Fisk Court, Raleigh, NC.

An autopsy was completed today at Baptist Medical Center. A complete autopsy report is not anticipated for several weeks. The investigation is continuing.

Release Date: April 9, 2017
 
On April 9, 2017 at approximately 1:56 AM, Boone Police responded to 137 Stoneybrook Court in Boone regarding a traumatic injury resulting from a reported Assault. The victim was transported to Watauga Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead. The suspect in this case is the son of the victim. The names of the suspect and victim are being withheld for the family to be notified.

"No charges have been filed at this time. This is the type of case that allows us time to do a thorough investigation up front and then carefully consider what charges, if any, are appropriate. We will certainly include the District Attorney's Office in this process. The suspect is cooperating with the police and is not believed to be a danger to the community." ~ Dana Crawford, Chief of Police

Release Date: March 27, 2017
 
At approximately 1:30 AM Monday morning, Boone Police officers responded to 165 Herring Loop for an unattended death. The decedent, James Luther Guy, age 53 of Boone, did not have any apparent signs of foul play; and the cause of death is to be determined by the Office of the Chief Medical examiner.

The investigation is ongoing.

Release Date: March 1, 2017
 
On February 28, 2017, at around 7:30 AM, the Boone Police Department received a 911 call requesting assistance with an unresponsive infant in a residence in the Watauga Green apartment complex on Clawson Street in Boone. Boone Police Department officers responded with Watauga Medics to assist. The infant was transported to the Watauga Medical Center Emergency Department where the child was pronounced dead upon arrival. There were no obvious signs of foul play. Boone Police detectives are currently investigating the death.

Release Date: January 27, 2017
 
On January 27, 2017, just before 12:45 AM, a Boone Police Department vehicle was struck while stationary in the 400 block of King Street. The officer was outside of his vehicle at the time of the impact and was not injured. A passenger in the patrol car received minor injuries and was transported to Watauga Medical Center for evaluation. He was released later in the morning. A passenger in a third vehicle also received minor injuries and was transported to Watauga Medical Center.

As a result of the incident the following individual was arrested:

Cody Edward Dombrowski
W/M
26 years-of-age
Clint Norris Road, Boone, NC

Mr. Dombrowski was charged with Misdemeanor Driving While Impaired, Misdemeanor Failure to Comply with Driver's License Restriction, Misdemeanor Careless and Reckless Driving, and Misdemeanor Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid a Collision. Mr. Dombrowski received a $5,000 secured bond pending a February 27, 2017, appearance in Watauga District Court.
Cody Edward Dombroski 171668  
Cody Edward Dombrowski    

Release Date: January 27, 2017
Four Arrests from Graffiti Investigation
On January 21, 2017, shortly before 4 AM, several subjects started vandalizing buildings in downtown Boone. The subjects traveled east along King Street and continued damaging buildings, signs, and a police car. Tsunami surveillance video of the subjects was release through High Country Crime Stoppers.

As a result of the investigation, four individuals were arrested today. The arrestees are:

Taryn Bledsoe
22 years-of-age
White / Female
North Street, Boone, NC

Taryn Bledsoe
Julia Grainger
22 years-of-age
White / Female
Howard Street, Boone, NC

Julia Grainger
Elizabeth Prier
22 years-of-age
White / Female
Howard Street, Boone, NC

Elizabeth Prier
Hannah Seay
21 years-of-age
White / Female
Eric Lane, Boone, NC

Hannah Seay
Each of the arrestees was charged with 7 counts of Misdemeanor Graffiti Vandalism and 1 count of Misdemeanor Damage to Personal Property. Each received a $1500 secured bond pending a March 1, 2017, appearance in Watauga District Court.

"I stated this case was a priority for us. Thanks to the involvement of citizens who came forward, we resolved this case in short order. I applaud the community for their overwhelming response. I would also like to thank High Country Crime Stoppers for their invaluable service." – Dana Crawford, Chief of Police

Investigators worked diligently to solve these incidents. Final estimated damage totaled $10,000.

"We took this case very seriously. Our detectives worked very long hours each day of this investigation, even working through the night, at one point. These hours were spent locating evidence, conducting interviews and eventually gaining confessions from each of these individuals." – Chris Hatton, Lieutenant – Criminal Investigations Davison

Tips from the public through High Country Crime Stoppers ultimately led to the incidents being solved.

"This is a fine example of the partnership High Country Crime Stoppers shares with the public and law enforcement to make our community better. The response to the Tsunami system videos was superb." – Shane Robbins, Sergeant, High Country Crime Stoppers Watauga County Coordinator

High Country Crime Stoppers pays rewards for information, which leads to arrests; recovery of stolen property; seizure of drugs and the location of wanted persons. Anyone with information on this crime or any other crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 828-268-6959 / 828-737-0125 or the Boone Police Department at 828-268-6900. You may also submit a Crime Stoppers Tip via our website at https://www.tipsubmit.com/webtips.aspx?AgencyID=1251 or Text "NCTIP plus your tip" to 274637 (CRIMES). All information will be kept confidential.

 
Release Date: January 21, 2017
 
As Chief of Police, I assure the citizens of Boone that this case will be a priority for us. It is deeply disturbing that some people believe that they have the right to damage other people's property and businesses to express their views in an unlawful way. While people have the right to disagree with any elected official, damaging innocent people's property is not consistent with Boone values.

The words "Black Lives Matter" was spray painted on several locations along with anti-police and anti-Trump slogans. In addition to the vandalisms reported earlier, a police vehicle parked at the town's public works facility was spray painted with similar rhetoric. This is an offense against all of Boone. The cost of cleaning or repainting a police vehicle is not coming from President Trump but Boone taxpayers.

We are encouraging all four of the suspects who vandalized the property to contact the Boone Police Department to turn themselves in for arrest and cooperate with the investigation. If not we will release video through Crime Stoppers tomorrow. We obviously know more than we are releasing at this point to give the suspects a brief opportunity to surrender themselves. ~ Chief Dana Crawford

Release Date: January 13, 2017
 
On Thursday, January 12, 2017, at approximately 11:04 AM, Boone Police and Fire units responded with Watauga Medics to 165 Robin Lane, Apt 103, in reference to a male suffering a medical emergency. The medical personnel were not able to find vital signs on the subject, and he was pronounced deceased at the scene. Boone Police Department Investigators responded to the scene and initiated an investigation to determine the circumstances of the death.

The decedent is Robert Reed, 58 years-of-age. After speaking with doctors and the Medical Examiner, it was determined that the death was of natural causes.

Release Date: January 12, 2017
 
On Wednesday, January 11, 2017, at approximately 11:30 AM, Boone Police and Fire units responded with Watauga Medics to 180 Meadow Hill Drive Apt 203, in reference to a male suffering a medical emergency. The medical personnel were not able to find vital signs on the subject, and he was pronounced deceased at the scene. Boone Police Department Investigators responded to the scene and initiated an investigation to determine the circumstances of the death.

The decedent is Carlton K. Leonard, 73 years-of-age. During this investigation, Detectives conferred with Mr. Leonard's doctors and the North Carolina Medical Examiner's Office, it was determined that the death was of natural causes.

Release Date: January 12, 2017
 
On Monday, January 9, 2017, at approximately 10:00 AM, Boone Police and Fire units responded with Watauga Medics to 818 E. King Street, Room 209, in reference to a male suffering a medical emergency. The medical personnel were not able to find vital signs on the subject, and he was pronounced deceased at the scene. Boone Police Department Detectives responded to the scene and initiated an investigation to determine the circumstances of the death.

The decedent, Morris Lee Haywood, 55 years-of-age, was transferred to the custody of the medical examiner for an autopsy and toxicological testing. The cause of death remains undetermined pending results of the autopsy and testing. There are no indications that the death is suspicious.

Release Date: December 19, 2016
Another Online Predator arrested by Boone Police
On Saturday December 17, 2016, the Boone Police Department and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation concluded an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) operation, resulting in the arrest of Timothy Glenn Hart (48 years of age) of Greeneville, TN. The Boone Police Department and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation are members of the North Carolina ICAC Task Force, which is continually engaged in proactive and reactive investigations and prosecutions of persons involved in child abuse and exploitation of children involving the internet.

Hart had arranged a meeting in Boone, with the intent of having a sexual encounter with a minor female, and traveled there from his home in Greeneville, TN. Officers observed Hart as he arrived at the meeting location, approached him and conducted an interview. Hart was then taken into custody prior to having made any physical contact with a minor.

This investigation has led the Boone Police Department to charge Timothy Glenn Hart with Soliciting a Child by Computer, Disseminating Obscenity, Attempted 1st Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor and Indecent Liberties with a Child. Hart was taken before a Watauga County Magistrate, and then turned over to the staff at the Watauga Detention Center.

The arrestee in this case is:
Timothy Glenn Hart
Shelton Mission Road
Greeneville, TN 37743
W/M, 48 years of age

The charges filed are:
  • One count of Felony Solicit a Child by Computer and Appear
  • One count of Felony Dissemination of Obscenity
  • One count of Felony Attempted 1st Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
  • One count of Felony Indecent Liberties with a Child
Hart's court date was set for January 17, 2017 and his conditions of release were set as a $125,000 secured bond.
Timothy Glenn Hart
   
Timothy Glenn Hart    

Release Date: December 18, 2016
 
On December 18, 2016, at approximately 1:48 PM, Boone Police, Watauga Medics and Watauga Sheriff's Deputies responded to an assault with a knife on North Street. When officers arrived, they located a male victim suffering from a stab wound to the leg. The victim was transported to Watauga Medical Center by Watauga Medics.

As a result of the investigation, George "Jordy" Foster, 27 years of age, of 515 Junaluska Road, Boone, was arrested and charged with Felonious Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury. Mr. Foster was taken before a Watauga County Magistrate where a $55,000 secured bond was set pending a January 17, 2017, appearance in Watauga District Court.
George J Foster    
George "Jordy" Foster    

Release Date: December 12, 2016
 
On Thursday, December 8, 2016, around 6:30 pm, Boone Police were contacted and asked to check the welfare of 30-year-old Appalachian State University student Brandon Patrick James. Boone Police responded to his residence located at 233 Crossing Way in Boone NC.

The responding officer found Mr. James deceased inside his home. Boone Police Department Investigators responded to the scene and initiated an investigation to determine the circumstances of the death. Watauga EMS and Boone Fire Department assisted in this investigation.

The decedent was transferred to the custody of the medical examiner for an autopsy and toxicological testing. The cause of death remains undetermined pending results of the autopsy and testing.

There are no indications that the death is suspicious.

Release Date: November 15, 2016
Another Online Predator arrested by Boone Police
On Thursday November 10, 2016, the Boone Police Department concluded an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) operation, resulting in the arrest of Benjamin Lindsey Keely (31 years of age) of West Jefferson, NC. The Boone Police Department is a member of the North Carolina ICAC Task Force, which is continually engaged in proactive and reactive investigations and prosecutions of persons involved in child abuse and exploitation of children involving the internet.

Keely had arranged a meeting in Boone, with the intent of exchanging money to have a sexual encounter with a minor female. Officers observed Keely travel to the meeting location, approached him and conducted an interview. Keely was then taken into custody prior to having made any physical contact with a minor.

This investigation has led the Boone Police Department to charge Benjamin Lindsey Keely with Soliciting a Child by Computer and Soliciting Prostitution. Keely was taken before a Watauga County Magistrate, and then turned over to the staff at the Watauga Detention Center.

The arrestee in this case is:
Benjamin Lindsey Keely
Ridge Crest Drive
West Jefferson, NC 28694
W/M, 31 years of age

The charges filed are:
  • One count of Felony Solicit a Child by Computer and Appear
  • One Count of Misdemeanor Solicit Prostitution.
Keely's court date was set for December 13, 2016, and his conditions of release were set as a $40,000 secured bond. Keely has posted this bond and has been released.
Benjamin Lindsey Keely    
Benjamin Lindsey Keely    

Release Date: November 7, 2016
 
On Sunday, November 6, 2016 at around 4:30 am, the Boone Police Department responded to the Watauga Medical Center Emergency Department where a 16-year-old female from Winston Salem was being treated for injuries related to an assault.

Mr. Jonathan Andrew Blalock, age 19, an Appalachian State University student from Winston Salem, North Carolina was identified as being the assailant and after a preliminary investigation was subsequently arrested. Mr. Blalock was arrested on charges of felony assault by strangulation and misdemeanor assault on a female and was held without bond.

The investigation is still on going and additional charges may be forthcoming.
1621808 Jonathan Andrew Blalock    
Jonathan Andrew Blalock     

Release Date: November 7, 2016 
Boone Police Conducting Death Investigation 
On Thursday, November 3, 2016 at around 10:00 am, the Boone Police Department received a call from Greene's Motel that a man was found deceased in one of the rooms there. The decedent was identified as Mr. Norman Scott Reece, age 51, of Boone, North Carolina. There were no signs of foul play and the investigation is still on going. 

Release Date: October 31, 2016 
Boone Police Conducting Death Investigation (Update)
On Saturday, October 29, 2016, at approximately 1:15 PM, Boone Police, Fire, and Watauga Medics responded to a parking lot on Tracy Circle near the intersection of Mac Street for a reported deceased individual. A 21-year-old female was found deceased inside a vehicle suffering from a gunshot wound.

The victim has been identified as:

Savannah Taylor Karten
21 years-of-age
Glen Allen, VA

Savannah was a sophomore at Appalachian State University. The Boone Police Department has been in close contact with the Appalachian State Police Department to make sure that those closest with Savannah get the help that they may need.

"We want to let the Boone and Appalachian community know that we have a team of detectives working on this case. We have certain protocol that we utilize to ensure a thorough, fair and impartial investigation. It is far too early to make a determination as to the type of death. There is always a balance between guarding the integrity of the case, not making premature speculations, and providing information to the community. We can tell you that at this time we do not have any information that leads us to believe that we are looking for a suspect. No information has led us to believe that this is a homicide; however, we still have a lot of work to do. We will keep the community posted of any public safety concerns. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Savannah. Unfortunately, we see this type of tragic loss of life too often." - Chief Dana Crawford 

Release Date: October 30, 2016
Boone Police Conducting Death Investigation
On Saturday, October 29, 2016, at approximately 1:15 PM, Boone Police, Fire, and Watauga Medics responded to a parking lot on Tracy Circle near the intersection of Mac Street for a reported deceased individual. A 21-year-old female was found deceased inside a vehicle suffering from a gunshot wound.

The victim has been identified as:

Savannah Taylor Karten
21 years-of-age
Glen Allen, VA

Karten was a student at Appalachian State University. Although Boone Police are considering all possibilities, at this time there is no information to indicate foul play. The investigation is continuing.

 Release Date: October 24, 2016
 Boone Police and PIKE Fraternity Work Together to Help Provide Kids Coats for Winter
A local fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, AKA "Pike," are partnering with the Boone Police Department once again to help the less fortunate in our area.

Pike is a nationally recognized fraternity of young men who strive to give back to the local communities. Pike works with various organizations in the Boone area including Hunger and Health Coalition, First Presbyterian Church, and Grace Builders, just to name a few. The chapter of 60 young men takes pride in the ability to give back.

Pike is currently running their annual coat drive to benefit the Crossnore School so kids can be prepared for the coming winter. Pike loves working with Crossnore and their students. They host a Valentine's Day Dance for the students and host an annual campus clean-up effort. All adult sized coats will be donated to the Hospitality House in Boone for appropriate distribution.

"Pike's relationship with Crossnore has given me a tremendous opportunity to give back. Serving the students at Crossnore has been a privilege for me and an experience I wouldn't trade." - Aristotle Moulopoulos, a Pike brother.

The Boone Police Department is happy to partner with Pike in their effort to help people in need. Please drop off any donated coats at the Boone Police Department, Grace Lutheran Church, and First Presbyterian Church. If you have retired winter apparel, please contribute and help the students at Crossnore have a comfortable winter.

This coat drive will end on November 10th, 2016. 


Release Date: September 21, 2016
 
On Friday, September 16, 2016, Boone Police Department received a report of fraudulent activity at a local business, Highland International Inc., 160-B Den Mac Drive in Boone, North Carolina. This activity involved the fraudulent use of the businesses checks. This report was forwarded to the Boone Police Department Investigations Division and an investigation began.

On Monday, September 19, 2016, Boone Police Investigators filed the listed charges on an employee of the business. This investigation is on-going and more charges are expected. Connie Snow Franklin was arrested and charged with the following charges:

2 Felony Counts of Forgery of Instrument
2 Felony Counts of Uttering a Forged Endorsement

The arrested individual is:

Connie Snow Franklin
W/F, 56-years-old
Cane Road
Boone, NC, 28607

Snow posted a $3,000 secured bond and was ordered to appear in Watauga County District court on October 20, 2016.
 Connie Snow Franklin    
 Connie Snow Franklin    

Release Date: September 21, 2016
 
On September, 10, 2016, Boone Police began an investigation when Wal Mart reported that several video game wireless controllers had been stolen from inside the business. During this investigation, Boone Police Officers learned that more than one of these game controllers had been sold to a business in the same shopping center, Game Stop (Watauga Village Drive, Boone, NC). Both of these businesses captured images of the suspect on video. Officers began to attempt to identify the individual stealing and then selling the game controllers for cash on the video footage.

On September, 12, 2016, Wal Mart employees observed the suspect from this investigation back inside the business. The suspect was with other individuals. The suspect left the business without paying for several items of food. These Wal Mart employees reported this to the Boone Police Department. Master Boone Police Officer Len Hagaman intercepted these suspects as they left the area of Wal Mart. The Boone Police Department Investigations Division were called to assist in this investigation. Boone Police Officers interviewed the occupants of the vehicle and were able to identify the person responsible for stealing the game controllers and then selling them to Game Stop for cash.

The suspect was identified as Caleb Gabriel Irving. Investigating Officers learned that Irving had an outstanding Warrant for Arrest from Orange County Florida for Burglary.

Arrested Individual:

Caleb Gabriel Irving
B/M, 22-years-old
Umstead Drive
Chapel Hill, NC, 27516

Charges:
1 Count of Felony Larceny
1 Count of Felony Obtaining Property by False Pretense
1 Count of Misdemeanor Shoplifting
**Florida Outstanding Burglary Warrant**

Irving was arrested and charged with the listed crimes. He was lodged in the Watauga County Jail until he posts a $92,000 secure bond. Irving was ordered to appear in Watauga County District court on October, 20, 2016.
Caleb Gabriel Irving    
Caleb Gabriel Irving    

Release Date: September 21, 2016
 
On September 7, 2016, Boone Police received a report of two firearms taken from Wildlife Unlimited, 1864 Old 421 S, Boone, NC. As a result of a follow-up investigation, the following individuals have been charged with the indicated crimes.

Anthony James Rizzo
17 years-of-age
Ospreys View, Boone, NC
2 counts – Felonious Larceny of a Firearm
$10,000 secured bond
October 18, 2016, Watauga District Court

Tristan Arden Danner
17 years-of-age
Hardin Road, Boone, NC
1 count - Felonious Larceny of a Firearm
$10,000 secured bond
October 20, 2016, Watauga District Court

Emilio Hernandez Zamudio
17 years-of-age
Howards Creek Road, Boone, NC
2 counts – Felonious Larceny of a Firearm
$10,000 secured bond
October 18, 2016, Watauga District Court

Both firearms were recovered during the course of the investigation.
Tristan Arden Danner Anthony James Rizzo Emilio Hernandez Zamudio
Tristan Arden Danner Anthony James Rizzo Emilio Hernandez Zamudio

Release Date: August 19, 2016
IT'S TIME TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL!!!
Watauga County Schools will open Monday, August 22, 2016. Boone Police are going to be out ensuring it is a safe and smooth first day for students, parents, and staff. Officers will be posted at Hardin Park Elementary School and Watauga High School monitoring vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Officers will be strictly enforcing school bus and school zone safety laws. As a reminder, below are some safety tips for all of us to follow.
SCHOOL BUS SAFETY
School bus safety is not only important in school zones, but all other areas where students are picked up and dropped off. When you see a school bus stopped with flashing red lights, traffic from both directions must stop. It is a misdemeanor violation to pass a stopped school bus. This charge will result in a fine of up to $500 and 5 driver's license points. If you observe someone passing a stopped school bus, please note the vehicle license plate and immediately report it to the Boone Police Department, or your local law enforcement agency. You may also report violations via High Country Crime Stoppers, www.highcountrycrimestoppers.com.
 Passing 
Video: "The Bus Stops Here"
 TRAFFIC FLOW SAFETY
On school days from 7:20 AM until 8:00 AM and 2:15 PM until 3:00 PM, northbound traffic on Jefferson Road (Hwy 194) is not permitted to make a left turn into Hardin Park. Official signs have been erected and officers will be enforcing violations. Drivers wishing to enter Hardin Park School should use New Market Blvd near A Cleaner World and then turn right onto Jefferson Road to enter the school. This will make traffic flow more efficient, eliminate congestion, and increase safety.
DSC 0157S

Release Date: August 18, 2016
 
On Wednesday August 17, 2016 at approximately 1:00 pm, the Boone Police Department responded to 196 Oak Street, Unit #10, to check the welfare of the resident of that apartment. Officers located a deceased individual inside the apartment. The deceased has been identified as Daniel Lewis Fritz (W/M, DOB 02-14-89, 196 Oak Street, Unit #10, Boone, NC, 28607). Mr. Fritz was a current Appalachian State University student and lived alone at this address.

Boone Police Department Investigators responded to the scene and began an investigation. Boone Investigators requested the assistance of Appalachian State University Police Investigator during the initial phase of this investigation. Many interviews were conducted as an investigation of the scene began.

Once inside this apartment, investigators located several items that can be used to manufacture the drug known as "DMT." DMT is a hallucinogenic drug that is gaining popularity among the college age population of the United States. Investigators stopped their investigation of the crime scene and called the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (NCSBI). The NCSBI Clandestine Laboratory Response Team responded to the scene. As a precaution, the residents of the apartment building were asked to relocate until the NCSBI completed their work at the scene. The NCSBI properly removed all items that could be hazardous to health and the death scene investigation was completed.

Investigators have seen no signs of foul play. An autopsy was completed today at Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem, NC. Investigators are awaiting the full autopsy and toxicology reports to help determine the cause of death.

Release Date: August 17, 2016
 
Today at 12:26 PM, Boone Police responded to a welfare check on Oak Street. Officers located one person deceased inside an apartment. Boone Police Investigators are currently at the scene conducting an investigation. The identity of the victim will be released once next of kin are notified. No further information is available at this time.

Release Date: August 17, 2016
High Country Crime Stoppers and Tsunami Security Camera Solve Another Crime
On August 15, 2016, Boone Police issued a crime alert with video through High Country Crime Stoppers for a larceny that occurred at Lost Province Brewing - 130 N Depot Street on August 13, 2016.

As a result of this alert, Kyle Stephen Lyons, 23 years-of-age, of Boone, was arrested on August 16, 2016. Mr. Lyons was charged with Misdemeanor Larceny. He was taken before a Watauga County Magistrate where he signed a written promise to appear on October 20, 2016, in Watauga District Court.

This is the second time this month that video from the Tsunami Security Camera has led to solving a crime in the downtown Boone area. The ability to provide high definition video to High Country Crime Stoppers accounts for these cases being solved.

"We are testing the Tsunami Security Camera to weigh the benefits it offers to the citizens of Boone. We have been able to identify individuals in a matter of hours, instead of it taking weeks. So far, I have been very pleased with the results." – Chief of Police Dana B. Crawford

The partnership between High Country Crime Stoppers, area law enforcement, and the community is invaluable. It is because people are willing to step forward and provide information that we are able to solve these crimes.

High Country Crime Stoppers serves the Avery County and Watauga County areas of the North Carolina High Country aiding local law enforcement. They pay rewards for information which leads to the arrests of wanted persons, recovery of stolen property, and the seizure of drugs. You do not have to reveal your identity and you may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000. Anyone with information is asked to contact High Country Crime Stoppers at (828)268-6959/(828)737-0125. You may also submit a tip online here or Text "NCTIP plus your tip" to 274637 (CRIMES).
Kyle Stephen Lyons  Video  
Kyle Stephen Lyons

 

Release Date: August 16, 2016
 
On Monday, August 15, 2016, at 8:10 PM, Boone Police responded to 167 Zeb Street for an assault. As a result of an investigation Sami Anne Grassman, 31 years-of-age, of Boone, has been charged with Felonious Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury with Intent to Kill. Grassman was taken before a Watauga County Magistrate where an October 20, 2016, court date was set. No bond amount was set pending a first appearance.
Sami Anne Grassman    
Sami Anne Grassman    

Release Date: August 16, 2016
 
On Monday, August 15, 2016, at 8:10 PM, Boone Police responded to 167 Zeb Street for an assault. When officers arrived, they found Jonathan Glen Pleasant, 27 years-of-age, of Boone, suffering from a stab wound to the upper chest. Officers rendered emergency medical care until Watauga Medics arrived and transported Pleasant to Watauga Medical Center. Pleasant was later transferred to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem.

Boone Police Department Investigators responded and processed the scene. A suspect has been identified, but the identity of the suspect is not being released at this time pending formal charges. The investigation into this incident is continuing.

Release Date: August 2, 2016
 
On August 1, 2016, Boone Police issued a crime alert through High Country Crime Stoppers for a vandalism that occurred during the early morning hours of July 31, 2016, at 641 W King Street.

As a result of that alert, David Keith Miller, 22 years-of-age, has been charged with Misdemeanor Damage to Property. Mr. Miller is scheduled to appear in Watauga Distinct Court on September 9, 2016, to answer the charge.

"This is a prime example where video technology along with community involvement led to a case being solved. I applaud the tipster for taking the step to contact High Country Crime Stoppers". – Dana Crawford, Chief of Police

High Country Crime Stoppers has authorized a $100 reward for the tipster in this case. Tipsters #94-2016, please contact HCCS to claim your reward. High Country Crime Stoppers is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization that works in cooperation with local law enforcement, media, and the general public to solve and prevent crimes in Avery County and Watauga County areas of the North Carolina High Country. For more information, you may visit the HCCS website, http://www.highcountrycrimestoppers.com.

Release Date: August 1, 2016
 
On Friday, July 29, 2016, the Boone Police Department closed yet another online criminal activity investigation. This case began when Investigators were monitoring known websites preferred by online child predators. A suspicious posting was located by an Investigator. To determine if this was criminal activity, a member of the Investigation's Division responded to this posting.

After communication with the posting's author, Investigators learned that the author was looking to trade a significant amount of narcotics for a sexual encounter with a female. The posting's author was later identified as Donald Lee Tester. The Investigators arranged a meeting with the Tester at a local business at a specific date and time. When Tester arrived at this prearranged meeting location, he was met with Boone Police Investigators. Tester was arrested and the mentioned narcotics were located and seized.

Tester was arrested and charged with the listed crimes and then lodged in the Watauga County Jail under a $20,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in Watauga County Superior Court on September, 9, 2016.

Tester was charged with the following crimes:
1 Count -Felony Trafficking in Opiates by Possession.
1 Count – Misdemeanor Solicit Prostitution.

The individual arrested was:

Donald Lee Tester
W/M, DOB- 01-19-62
179 Albert Tester Drive,
Sugar Grove, NC, 28679

The Boone Police Department encourages anybody with information about any criminal activity to call High County Crimestoppers at 828-268-6942 or Crime Stoppers at 828-268-6959 / 828-737-0125. You may also submit a Crime Stoppers Tip via our website at https://www.tipsubmit.com/webtips.aspx?AgencyID=1251 or Text "NCTIP plus your tip" to 274637 (CRIMES). All information will be kept confidential.
Donnie Lee Tester    
Donald Lee Tester    

Release Date: June 10, 2016
 
On May 31, 2016, Watauga High School staff noticed a 15-year-old minor was missing from the campus grounds, Boone Police responded and began an investigation. During this investigation, Boone Police learned that the minor had walked away from the high school campus willingly. The minor was located safely a short time later. Boone Police continued to investigate this situation after the minor had returned to the school.

On June 2, 2016, Boone Police determined that this 15-year-old had encountered an adult male on a social media outlet prior to walking away from the campus. This individual was identified during this investigation as 22-year-old, Darius Dekwan Lathon. Lathon and this minor communicated through social media and texting apps for a period of time. Investigators believe that during this time, Lathon arranged to meet with this minor for sexual purposes. Upon leaving the school campus, the minor met with Lathon nearby and went with him to his residence for a period of time.

"Upon receiving this information, we instantly utilized our Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force resources. Working hand-in-hand with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Computer Crimes Unit, we were able to close this investigation quickly to prevent any additional victims." - Chris Hatton, Investigations Division Commander

Investigators learned that Lathon has been living in Boone for approximately 2-weeks since moving here from Baltimore Maryland. Pursuant to this investigation, Darius Dekwan Lathon was arrested and charged with the following crimes.
  • Statutory Rape with a Child Less Than or Equal to 15 Years of Age
  • Statutory Sex Offense with a Child Less Than or Equal to 15 Years of Age
  • First Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
  • Third Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
  • Dissemination of Obscene Material to a Minor
Mr. Lathon was taken before a Watauga County Magistrate, where he was assigned a court date of July 8, 2016 and placed under a $500,000 secured bond.

"This is the exact reason the Boone Police Department has been working so hard to catch these predators before they get to our children. Our Investigators reacted immediately and worked 20 hours straight to get this criminal off our streets. I am proud of our work on this case and we will continue to be diligent in these areas where our children are being targeted by online predators." - Dana Crawford, Chief of Police
Darius Dekwan Lathon    
Darius Dekwan Lathon    

Release Date: May 25, 2016
Boone Police Release Identity of Motor Vehicle Collision Victim
On Tuesday, May 24, 2016, at 11:37 AM, Boone Police, Fire, and Watauga Medics responded to the intersection on East King Street and NC Hwy 194 for a report of a motor vehicle collision involving a moped and a tractor-trailer.

The male operator of the moped, Justin Dempsey Shook, 32 years-of-age, of Boone, died as a result of the collision.

Boone Police are continuing to investigate the collision.

Release Date: May 24, 2016
 
On Tuesday, May 24, 2016, at 11:37 AM, Boone Police, Fire, and Watauga Medics responded to the intersection on East King Street and NC Hwy 194 for a report of a motor vehicle collision involving a moped and a tractor-trailer.

One person, the male operator of the moped, was pronounced dead at the scene. The operator of the tractor-trailer was not injured. Boone Police traffic accident re-constructionists, aided by North Carolina State Troopers form the Motor Carrier Division, are conducting an investigation to establish the facts of the collision.

The name of the decedent is being withheld pending notification of the next of kin.

Release Date: May 20, 2016
Letter to the Community
     It has been a month since James "Martin" Roberts was reported missing. During that time an extensive amount of investigative work has been completed. We want the Roberts family and our community to know that we are diligently continuing the task at hand. Every day our team assigned to this case examines all of the probabilities and possibilities in an attempt to discover the facts behind Martin's disappearance. We believe that we are close to accessing Martin's electronic communications. This certainly should shed some light on this case.

     One factor in the investigation has prompted this letter to the community. We have learned that there are periods of time where Martin's whereabouts cannot be accounted for by his friends and roommates. This has led us to believe that there is a person in this community who has knowledge of Martin Roberts, but who may be hesitant to come forward. This person would have spent time with Martin during the weeks prior to Martin's disappearance. To this person, "I want to speak with you - our conversation can be private, anonymous, and discrete." Regardless of the circumstances, please call and provide the information we need. You can reach me directly at: 828-268-6920.

Yours in Service,

Dana Crawford, Chief of Police

Release Date: May 16, 2016
 
On Friday, May 13, 2016 at approximately 11:36 PM, Boone Police were notified of an armed robbery that had occurred on Hunting Hills Lane.

The victim had agreed to give a ride to Randy Craig Pollard, 20 years-of-age, of 338 Brook Hollow Road, Boone, NC, from a business on West King Street to the Greenway Trail parking area off Hunting Hills Lane in exchange for cash. When the victim and Mr. Pollard arrived at the Greenway Trail, Mr. Pollard produced a knife and demanded cash from the victim. The victim complied and gave Mr. Pollard what money she had. Mr. Pollard fled onto the Greenway Trail.

Responding Boone Police Officers located Mr. Pollard on the Greenway Trail. After an investigation, he was placed under arrest for Felonious Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon. Mr. Pollard was taken before a Watauga County Magistrate where a $75,000 secured bond was set pending a June 17, 2016, court appearance in Watauga District Court.

The victim did not sustain any injuries from this incident.
Randy Craig Pollard    
Randy Craig Pollard    

Release Date: May 11, 2016
 
On May 9, 2016, an incident was reported to the Boone Police Department regarding the Breaking and Entering of a vehicle and subsequent larceny of a firearm from within.

On May 10, 2016, Boone Police developed a suspect, Jeffrey Stuart Cashwell, age 44, of Boone, NC. Boone Police located Mr. Cashwell and initiated a traffic stop of the vehicle in which Mr. Cashwell was a passenger. A subsequent search of the vehicle led to the recovery of the stolen firearm.

Jeffrey Cashwell was placed under arrest and charged with the following crimes.
  • One count of Felony Breaking or Entering a Motor Vehicle
  • One count of Felony Larceny of a Firearm
  • One count of Felony Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon
  • Two counts of Felony Financial Card Theft
  • Three counts of Misdemeanor Financial Card Fraud
  • One count of Misdemeanor Larceny
Mr. Cashwell was taken before a Watauga County Magistrate, where he was assigned a court date of June 14, 2016, and placed under a $25,000 secured bond.
Jeffrey Stuart Cashwell    
Jeffrey Stuart Cashwell    

Release Date: May 4, 2016
High Country Crime Stoppers Offers Reward
Martin Roberts
 

Release Date: April 25, 2016
Boone Police Release the Identity of Plane Crash Victims
After having notified the victim's families, Boone Police are releasing the identities of the occupants of the plane that crashed Monday afternoon at Boone Golf Course. The occupants were John Field Worsley II, age 68, of Lenoir; Steven Cox Berry, age 43, of Banner Elk and Benjamin (Ben) Franklin Chappell, age 69, of Boone. At the time of this release both Worsley and Berry are listed in critical condition at Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem. Ben Chappell was pronounced deceased at the scene as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.

Ben Chappell is a retired State Trooper of the NC State Highway Patrol, stationed in Watauga County. The Federal Aviation Administration has been on the scene since Monday afternoon. Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are expected to begin their investigation Tuesday morning.

"We are deeply saddened by this tragic event. Everyone in law enforcement in Watauga County knows Ben Chappell and his family. It is difficult to have to work a scene where all of us know at least one of the victims. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Chappell family at this time. We also want to wish the very best to Mr. Worsley and Mr. Berry and are praying for a speedy recovery for them and for the comfort of their families". - Chief of Police Dana Crawford

Release Date: April 25, 2016
 
On April 25, 2016 at 12:56 this afternoon, Boone Police, Boone Fire, The Watauga County Sheriff's Office, and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol Responded to the Boone Golf Course in reference to an airplane crash. What we know now is that a small plane took off from the Boone Airport moments prior to the crash.

Witnesses on the golf course noted that the plane appeared to be in distress. The plane clipped the tops of some trees and then crashed on the golf course. The two witnesses turned into rescuers and were able to assist two victims from the plane crash. A third person on the plane did not survive.

One survivor was flown to Winston-Salem and the other to Johnson City. The man who did not survive is a local resident. He is actually a friend to many in the community. We cannot release the names as extended family members have not all been notified. We are very saddened by this loss and extend our condolences to the family. We hope and pray that the survivors will be ok but serious injuries were sustained.

The Boone Police Department will be conducting the initial investigation; however the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will be responding to conduct further investigation. The NTSB is an independent Federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident the United States. We will assist those agencies in anyway needed.

We also would like to thank the High Country Chaplain Service who responded to the scene to assist with needs of those involved.

Release Date: April 25, 2016 
 
On Monday April 25th at approximately 1:00 p.m. a small plane crashed in the vicinity of Boone Golf Club. Three people who were on board the aircraft were transported from the scene by medics to area hospitals. No other information as to the identity or condition of the people involved is known at this time.

 Release Date: April 24, 2016
Missing Person - Update
Boone Police are continuing to attempt to locate James Martin Roberts. Investigators have been following numerous leads and tips, but so far have been unable to locate Martin. Martin was last seen on Thursday, April 21, at approximately 12:30 PM near the intersection of Hardin Street and Rivers Street around the ASU Convocation Center. There was a possible sighting of Martin in the Trout Lake area of the Blue Ridge Parkway. A NC State Highway Patrol helicopter assisted in checking the area last night however, nothing was located. He was wearing a black, short sleeve, Appalachian State windbreaker, khaki shorts, gray new balance shoes and a white golf visor hat.

Martin is from Kernersville, NC, and currently resides in Boone while attending Caldwell Community College. He has a large family that loves and supports him. They are awaiting his safe return. They are very concerned because Martin's disappearance is totally out of character for him. Martin enjoys hiking, camping and spending time on the trails in around the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Any information concerning Martin's favorite hangouts, recent whereabouts leading up to his disappearance, or people he might have been with, is requested. If you come in contact with Martin, please tell him to contact his family; they love him and want him back. Investigators and the Roberts family are appealing for anyone with information about Martin's whereabouts to contact us immediately.

To Martin – "If you see this, please come home or contact us. We love you". – Mom and Dad

Anyone with information is asked to call the Boone Police Department at 828-268-6900 or High Country Crime Stoppers at 828-268-6959 / 828-737-0125. You may also submit a Crime Stoppers Tip via our website at https://www.tipsubmit.com/webtips.aspx?AgencyID=1251 or Text "NCTIP plus your tip" to 274637 (CRIMES).
James Martin Roberts 2 IMAGEJames Martin Roberts 3  
     

 Release Date: April 22, 2016
 Missing Person
Boone Police are seeking the public's assistance in locating a missing person, James Martin Roberts, White Male, 19 years-of-age. Mr. Roberts is 5'10" and weighs approximately 145 lbs. He has brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a black, short sleeve, Appalachian State windbreaker, khaki shorts, gray new balance shoes and a white golf visor hat. He was last seen in the area around the ASU Convocation Center.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Boone Police Department at 828-268-6900 or High Country Crime Stoppers at 828-268-6959 / 828-737-0125. You may also submit a Crime Stoppers Tip via our website at https://www.tipsubmit.com/webtips.aspx?AgencyID=1251 or Text "NCTIP plus your tip" to 274637 (CRIMES).
James Martin Roberts    
James Martin Roberts    

Release Date: March 30, 2016
 
On March 20, 2016, at 10:46 am, Boone Police responded with Watauga Medics to 165 Robin Lane, Apartment 106, in reference to a male suffering a medical emergency. First arriving units determined the male to be deceased. Boone Police Department Investigators responded to the scene and initiated an investigation to determine the circumstances of the death. The decedent, Louis Santos, 58 years-of-age, was transferred to the custody of Watauga Medical Center. The death was determined to be from a medical condition.

Release Date: March 15, 2016
Would-be Cell Phone Store Burglars Caught
On March 14, 2016, at approximately 4:30 am, the Boone Police Department responded to a suspicious vehicle call near the Carolina West Wireless store located within the Watauga Village Shopping Center. A Carolina West security officer observed two males acting suspiciously in the area of the store prior to calling the police.

Officers responded to find four males in a silver 4-door 2000 Volkswagen Passat behind the business. Officers made contact and noticed suspicious items in the car to include pry bars, multiple pairs of gloves, a large saw, and bandannas tied in such a way that one could use for concealment of their identity. The men were detained and an investigation began. The descriptions of the men and the tools were consistent with what has been seen on video surveillance at crime scenes in various other locations in North Carolina.

The four men were interviewed at the Boone Police Department. After these interviews, all four individuals were arrested and taken before a Magistrate at the Watauga County Magistrate's Office. The below listed suspects were each arrested and charged with the listed crimes below.

"Cellular telephone stores have recently been getting burglarized all over our state. We are teaming up with other law enforcement agencies to determine if these individuals are responsible for more of these break-ins. These arrests are not the end of our investigation. This investigation is ongoing."Dana Crawford, Chief of Police

King Savior Black
B/M, DOB 02-01-1993, 814 Green Oaks Street, Greensboro, NC, 27401
(1) count of Felony Attempted Breaking or Entering a Building
(1) count of Felony Possession of Burglary Tools
(1) count of Felony Conspiracy to Commit Breaking or Entering a Building
$20,000 secured bond, court date 5/16/2016

Rico Joshua Corde
B/M, DOB 03-06-1994, 701 Franklin Boulevard Greensboro, NC, 27401
(1) count of Felony Attempted Breaking or Entering a Building
(1) count of Felony Possession of Burglary Tools
(1) count of Felony Conspiracy to Commit Breaking or Entering a Building
$20,000 secured bond, court date 5/16/2016

Pierre Le-Lawton Little
B/M, DOB 03-22-1994, 1213 Nealtown Road, Greensboro, NC, 27401
(1) count of Felony Attempted Breaking or Entering a Building
(1) count of Felony Possession of Burglary Tools
(1) count of Felony Conspiracy to Commit Breaking or Entering a Building
$20,000 secured bond, court date 5/16/2016

Matthew Lee Jones III,
B/M, DOB 04-02-1986, 751 Jennifer Street, Greensboro, NC, 27401
(1) count of Felony Attempted Breaking or Entering a Building
(1) count of Felony Possession of Burglary Tools
(1) count of Felony Conspiracy to Commit Breaking or Entering a Building
$20,000 secured bond, court date 5/16/2016
-Also, served with an outstanding arrest warrant from Greensboro PD for one count of Misdemeanor Injury to Personal Property. Court date of 4/05/16 and $750.00 secured bond.
King Savior Black Rico Joshua Corde Pierre Le Lawton Little
King Savior Black Rico Joshua Corde Pierre Le-Lawton Little
Matthew Lee Jones III    
Matthew Lee Jones, III    

Release Date: March 1, 2016
Death Case Closed by Boone Police Department
On October 18, 2015, at approximately 7:30 am, the Boone Police Department responded to investigate the report of a 28-year-old unresponsive male. This individual was identified as Anthony Robert Surace "Rocky." Mr. Surace was found inside the bathroom of his residence located at 1340 West King Street in Boone, NC. During the investigation, evidence gathered indicated that Mr. Surace's death was most likely due to an accidental drug overdose.

On February 29, 2016, the Boone Police Department received the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner's Autopsy Report. This report confirmed Boone Police Investigators' suspicions that narcotics were involved. Mr. Surace's cause of death was officially listed in this report as, "Drug (heroin) toxicity." The manner of death was listed as accidental.

"Our investigators have maintained communication with the family and our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to Mr. Surace's family and friends."
– Dana Crawford, Chief of Police
 
Release Date: February 29, 2016
 
The Boone Police Department announces the appointment of five new officers to our patrol division.

Andrew Absher, 35, a Caldwell County native joined the Department on October 26, 2015. He is assigned to the patrol division as a School Resource Officer at Watauga High School. Andrew has been a law enforcement officer since 2003, serving with both the Blowing Rock Police Department and Watauga County Sheriff's Office.

Justin English, 22, a Buncombe County native and 2015 graduate of Appalachian State University joined the Department on January 18, 2016. He is currently assigned to the patrol division.

Lucas Ferry, 23, a Buncombe County native and 2015 graduate of Appalachian State University joined the Department on January 18, 2016. He is currently assigned to the patrol division.

Walker Smith, 24, a Cabarrus County native and 2014 graduate of Appalachian State University joined the Department on January 4, 2016. Walker served with the Appalachian State University Police Department prior to joining the Boone Police Department. He is currently assigned to the patrol division.

Cody Whitfield, 26, a Person County native and 2011 graduate of Appalachian State University joined the Department on January 4, 2016. Cody served over 4 years with the Durham Police Department prior to joining the Boone Police Department. He is currently assigned to the patrol division.

"Boone Police Department is very proud to announce the addition of these officers to our community and our police department family. We believe these officers possess the moral values and character attributes that are critical to performing their jobs with the upmost of integrity and professionalism.

These young men sought employment at Boone Police Department to be a part of, and to be protectors of a very special community. We consistently look for officers who seek to preserve public trust by demonstrating impartial service to all." – Dana Crawford, Chief of Police
FEB 2016

Release Date: February 24, 2016
 
On February 23rd, 2016, Scottie Lynn Garr, 29, of Butler, TN, was arrested for one count of felony Financial Card Theft, one count of misdemeanor Larceny and three counts of misdemeanor Financial Card Fraud. Mr. Garr is alleged to have stolen a purse from Murphy's Restaurant and Pub on January 23rd, 2016 and fraudulently purchased items at three different locations in Boone with the victim's credit card.

Mr. Garr was given a $3000 secured bond and a Watauga County court date of April 15th, 2016.
ScottieGarr    
Scottie Lynn Garr    

 Release Date: February 17, 2016
Boone Police Department Closes Death Case
On May 22, 2015, the Boone Police Department began an investigation into the death of an 18-year-old male named, John Dakota Merriss.

This investigation began when Boone Police were called to respond to investigate the report of an 18-year-old unresponsive male at the Emergency Department of Watauga Medical Center.

It was later reported by witnesses that Mr. Merriss had been found unresponsive at 232 Robin Lane in Boone prior to being transported to the hospital.

During an investigation, all evidence gathered indicated that Mr. Merriss' death was likely caused by an accidental drug overdose. The case was turned over to the North Carolina Medical Examiner's Office.

The Medicolegal Autopsy Report has been released. This report confirmed Boone Police Investigators' suspicions. Mr. Merriss' cause of death was listed as, "Alprazolam (Xanax) and tramadol toxicity."

"We are saddened by this incredible loss. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Merriss' family and friends. The loss of someone so young is such a tragedy." – Lt. Chris Hatton, Investigations Division Commander
 

 Release Date: February 12, 2016
Another Online Predator arrested by Boone Police
On Friday February 12, 2016, the Boone Police Department and the State Bureau of Investigation closed another on-going online child predator investigation. This investigation was a proactive attempt by the Boone Police Department to catch the individuals that seek to victimize our children online. This investigation was a cooperative effort between the North Carolina and South Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Specific agencies involved were the Boone Police Department, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and the Greenville County South Carolina Sheriff's Office.

Investigators observed a suspicious ad on a popular website. Investigators noticed an ad with a vulgar title and feared the ad could be a predator looking for children online. A Boone Police Detective posed as a 14-year-old girl in Boone and responded to this ad.

The poster interacted with the undercover investigator and despite being led to believe that he was interacting with a 14-year-old girl, he arranged a meeting in Boone for sexual purposes. When officers saw the suspect travel to the meeting location on the arranged date and time, they approached him and conducted an interview. This interview led to the suspect's arrest. A search of the suspect's vehicle led to the seizure of multiple items of evidence that further indicated the suspect was there for sexual purposes.

This investigation has led the Boone Police Department to charge John Edward Heelan with felony violations. Heelan was arrested and taken before Magistrate Gales. Probable cause for the arrest was found and Heelan was then turned over to the staff at the Watauga Detention Center.

The arrestee in this case is:

John Edward Heelan
104 Orchid Drive
Greenville, SC 29617
W/M, 55 years of age

The charges filed are:
  • One count of Felony Solicit a Child by Computer and Appear
  • One Count of Indecent Liberties with a Minor
Heelan's court date was set for March 3, 2016, and his conditions of release were set as a $50,000 secured bond.
John Edward Heelan    
John Edward Heelan    

Release Date: February 4, 2016
Boone Police Files More Charges Against Online Predator
On Sunday December 27, 2015, the Boone Police Department and the State Bureau of Investigation closed an on-going online child predator investigation. This investigation was a proactive attempt by the Boone Police Department to catch the individuals that seek to victimize our children online.

Investigators observed a suspicious ad on a popular website. The posted ad indicated that a male was seeking a "young and inexperienced" girl. Investigators feared this ad could be a predator looking for children online. A Boone Police Detective posed as a 14-year-old girl in Boone and responded to this ad.

The poster interacted with the undercover investigator and despite being led to believe that he was interacting with a 14-year-old girl, he arranged a meeting in Boone for sexual purposes. When officers saw the suspect travel to the meeting location on the arranged date and time, they approached him and conducted an interview. This interview led to the suspect's arrest. A search of the suspect's vehicle led to the seizure of items of evidence that further indicated the suspect was there for sexual purposes.

Upon confronting the suspect, Terry Lynn Campbell II, Investigators were able to positively identify him for the first time in the investigation. After this arrest was made, an investigation into Campbell's other online activities began. This investigation has led the Boone Police Department to charge Campbell with additional felony violations. Boone Police filed these additional charges on Wednesday February 3, 2016. Campbell was arrested at the Watauga Detention Center and then taken before Magistrate D. Shore.

"The Boone Police Department is making a statement against these predators that target our children. Our officers are working hard to protect the children in our community. We will continue to be diligent in working these very difficult cases. I am very proud of our Investigator's skill and commitment to their work." – Dana Crawford, Chief of Police

The arrestee in this case is:
Terry Lynn Campbell II
102 Simpson Street
Greeneville, TN 37743
W/M, 34 years of age

The charges filed are:
• Ten counts of 2nd Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.
• Ten counts of 3rd Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.

Campbell's court date was set for March 3, 2016, and his conditions of release were set as a $75,000 secured bond.
Terry Lynn Campbell II    
Terry Lynn Campbell II    

Release Date: February 3, 2016
Boone Police Department Closes Death Case
On September 25, 2015, the Boone Police Department began an investigation into the death of a 20-year-old male named, John Dallas Bunch IV. Mr. Bunch was a student at Appalachian State University.

This investigation began when Boone Police were called to respond to an unattended death at 451 Yosef Drive, Apartment U, Boone NC. Upon arrival, officers learned that Mr. Bunch was found deceased in his bedroom by friends. After an investigation investigators suspected an accidental drug overdose to be the cause of death. The case was turned over to the North Carolina Medical Examiner's Office.

The Medicolegal Autopsy Report has been released. This report confirmed Boone Police Investigators' suspicions. Mr. Bunch's cause of death was listed as, "Acetyl fentanyl and alprazolam toxicity."

"The loss of life is always tragic, but when we lose someone at such a young age it's heartbreaking. Our thought and prayers go out to Mr. Bunch's family and friends." - Police Chief, Dana Crawford

Release Date: January 27, 2016
 
On January 26, 2016, at approximately 10:50 PM, Boone Police responded to a reported stabbing at 523 Blowing Rock Road, unit #25. When officers arrived, they located Mitchell Gray Preston, 22 years-of-age, of Williams Ridge Road, Boone, NC, suffering from a stab wound. Mr. Preston was transported to Watauga Medical Center for treatment.

As a result of a follow-up investigation, it was determined that a domestic dispute had taken place resulting in Mr. Preston being stabbed. Arianna Maria Zertuche, 21 years-of-age, of 523 Blowing Rock Road, unit #25, Boone, NC, was charged with Misdemeanor Assault with a Deadly Weapon. She was taken before a Watauga County Magistrate where she was remanded to the Watauga County Detention Facility pending a March 3, 2016, appearance in Watauga District Court.

Mr. Preston was charged with Misdemeanor Assault on a Female for his actions during the domestic dispute. He was taken before a Watauga County Magistrate where he was remanded to the Watauga County Detention Facility pending a March 3, 2016, appearance in Watauga District Court.

Neither party received a bond due to the domestic nature of the incident. Both individuals indicated they are Appalachian State University students.
Ariana Maria Zertuche Mitchell Gray Preston  
Arianna Maria Zertuche Mitchell Gray Preston  

Release Date: January 27, 2016
 
On January 26, 2016, the Boone Police Department received a call of a death at a Russell Drive residence. Mr. David Wayne Allison, 32 years-of-age, was found deceased in his home. The medical examiner has tentatively determined Mr. Allison's death to be medical in nature pending completion of an autopsy.