While the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office insists it is still investigating the August deaths of Aron Christensen and his dog in East Lewis County, no new information has been released since the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office sent the case back to the sheriff’s office in early November.
When asked for an update on the case on Dec. 13, Field Operations Bureau Chief Dusty Breen wrote that he had met with the detective leading the case and, “as (of) this time he does not have any other specific details to release other than we are still conducting additional investigation and have been providing updates to the family and prosecutor’s office.”
Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer confirmed to The Chronicle there is “nothing to release at this time” on Dec. 22.
A hiker found Christensen, 49, of Portland, dead next to his 4-month-old puppy on the 101 trail 3 to 4 miles away from Walupt Lake just after 3:55 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20.
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 — 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.
As of Friday, no charges have been filed and no arrests have been made.
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.
“We are confused, disheartened and exasperated by the handling of this case and fully believe that by now, over 90 days after Aron was killed, arrests should be made,” wrote family and friends of Christensen in a GoFundMe.com post last updated on Nov. 15.
That crowdfunding campaign to cover the family’s legal fees and the costs of “subsequent investigations” had raised $25,530 as of Friday morning.
Christensen’s family and friends are asking anyone with information pertaining to Christensen’s and Buzzo’s deaths to contact them via the GoFundMe page, accessible at https://gofund.me/cdfb6252.
The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office asks anyone with information pertaining to the case to contact the office at 360-748-9286 or contact Lewis County Communications at 360-740-1105.