Five Months After Death: Detectives Anticipate Sending the Case Back to Prosecutor Within Next Two Weeks 

Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Receives Final Report in Aron Christensen Death Investigation


The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office intends to refer Aron Christensen’s case back to the prosecutor’s office within the next two weeks, The Chronicle confirmed Tuesday. 

A hiker found Christensen, 49, of Portland, dead next to his 4-month-old puppy Buzzo on the 101 trail 3 to 4 miles away from Walupt Lake just after 3:55 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022.

Two months later, on Oct. 26, the Lewis County Coroner’s Office ruled Christensen’s death a homicide caused by a gunshot wound to the chest. The next day, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office referred first-degree manslaughter and animal cruelty charges against two suspects: Ethan Michael Asbach, 20, of Tenino, and a 17-year-old girl from Rochester. The prosecutor’s office referred the case back to the sheriff’s office on Nov. 2 for further investigation.

Detectives with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office received the last report they were waiting on — cellphone mapping for the two suspects — on Friday, Jan. 20, according to Field Operations Chief Dusty Breen. 

“They anticipate sending (the case) back to the prosecutor in the next week to two weeks once they have reviewed the data and completed reports,” wrote Breen in a Jan. 24 email to a Chronicle reporter. 

Family members and friends of Christensen have told The Chronicle they are frustrated with a lack of information from authorities and the failure to arrest a suspect in the case following Christensen’s death.

Friday, Jan. 20, would have been Christensen’s 50th birthday. To mark the occasion, two bands that Christensen was a member of, Supplemental Pills and Hearts of Oak, created and released the song "Between the Harvest and the Hunter's Moon."

All proceeds from the song, which is available on all streaming services, go towards a fundraiser benefiting Christensen’s family. 

The GoFundMe had raised just under $30,000 as of Wednesday morning for legal fees and subsequent investigative work that Christensen’s family is pursuing.

This story has been corrected to inlcude a suspect's full first name.