Aron Christensen’s 4-month old puppy, Buzzo, likely died of a single 1-centimeter wound to the left side of his chest, according to a necropsy report recently obtained by The Chronicle.
Buzzo and Christensen, 49, of Portland, were found dead on the 101 trail 3 to 4 miles away from Walupt Lake in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest just after 3:55 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022.
On Aug. 29, the Lewis County Coroner’s Office reportedly contacted Newaukum Valley Veterinary Services in Chehalis to arrange a necropsy for Buzzo to determine a cause of death, according to a report obtained by one of Christensen’s friends via a public records request.
The next day, on Aug. 30, the coroner’s office delivered Buzzo’s remains to Newaukum Valley Veterinary Services for the necropsy. The coroner’s office picked up Buzzo’s remains on Sept. 6, but returned the remains to Newaukum Valley Veterinary Services on Sept. 12 “for future reference or if any additional information is needed,” according to a letter by veterinarian Dr. Brandy Fay included in the report.
The necropsy revealed a single 1 cm point of entry wound and corresponding exit wound that caused “traumatic thoracic injury to the left side of the chest,” according to Fay’s report, which noted “death was most likely instantaneous.”
A second “superficial injury” found near the fatal wound “did not contribute to (the) death of (the) patient,” according to Fay.
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.
The case was referred back to the prosecutor’s office in late January. Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer confirmed last week that his office is still reviewing the case. Charges had not been filed as of Wednesday afternoon.