Missing man found shot to death

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    Hegseth

  • McDermott

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    Hegseth

SANDPOINT — A Sagle man has been implicated in the shooting death of Robert Cameron Hegseth Wohali, city officials said on Wednesday.

Michael Ryan McDermott was arrested on Saturday at Evergreen Towing on Great Northern Road on an outstanding felony warrant and for attempting to pass himself off as someone else after being contacted by Sandpoint Police, according to Bonner County Magistrate Court records. McDermott, 47, has not yet been charged in connection with the death of Hegseth Wohali, a 26-year-old who was formally reported as missing on Sunday.

While Sandpoint Police and Bonner County sheriff’s officials conducted an area-wide search, Sandpoint detectives received information that Hegseth Wohali had been shot and killed, City Administrator Jennifer Stapleton said in a news release.

Detectives discovered the body of Hegseth Wohali on Tuesday evening at an undisclosed location in a rural area south of Sandpoint. He had a single gunshot wound to his chest and the results of an autopsy are pending, according to Stapleton.

Police have also recovered a firearm they believe was used to kill Hegseth Wohali. Investigators believe he was killed at Evergreen Towing in the early-morning hours of Friday.

Authorities received an anonymous tip that McDermott and a woman were at the towing company and wrecking yard and both were wanted on felony warrants, according to the arrest report. McDermott attempted to pass himself off as another Bonner County man, but the ruse crumbled after he was identified by a distinctive tattoo on his left ring finger, the report said.

The arrest report is devoid of any references to a shooting or the disappearance of Hegseth Wohali.

Friends and family have been sharing screen shots on social media of messaging threats which appear to indicate that Hegseth Wohali was attempting to recover a vehicle.

McDermott became the subject of a $10,000 arrest warrant after he failed to appear at a preliminary hearing on charges of grand theft and burglary in August of last year, court records show. McDermott is accused of raiding a home at Lake Pend Oreille’s Garfield Bay in September 2017 and making off with more than $20,000 worth of gold and silver coin, furniture and antiques. He’s further accused of stealing a wakeboard from Goodwill in Ponderay in March of last year.

It’s the second time since 2005 a person has been shot to death on the grounds of Evergreen Towing. Christopher Elliot West, 25, was shot and killed at Evergreen while apparently working on his truck.

Christopher Alen Lewers and Kenneth Eugene Thurlow are serving prison terms for first-degree murder in connection with the West killing. Lewers, 35, is serving his sentence at the Idaho State Correctional Center in Kuna and becomes eligible for parole in 2025, according to the Idaho Department of Correction. Thurlow, 58, is serving a life sentence without parole at the Idaho State Correctional Institution, which is also located in Kuna.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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