Missing Toddler Returned Safely

3-28 missing childEUGENE, Ore. — A happy ending for one mother, after her child was returned home safely Saturday afternoon.

Police say the one-year old went missing two weeks ago, last seen with her father, who does not have custody of her.

Kiera Burke had been missing since March 15 and was last seen at the First Place Family Shelter at Amazon Parkway in Eugene.

Kiera’s mother, Ashley Prine, says the girl’s father, Andrew Burke, was making suicidal statements the day before the disappearance, and says it could be because of a recent break-up between the two.

She says Burke told her on the day of the disappearance, that he was taking Kiera out to lunch, but never came back.

Prine and her family say they were concerned for both the child and the father because they believe he could’ve been using drugs.

“I’m scared for my daughter’s safety. I want her home. I want to know that she’s safe every night and everyday,” said Prine.

Prine says she received an email from Burke early this Saturday morning just after midnight that said, “Call off your dogs”, which she handed over to police.

Police say Kiera was returned at 4:00 p.m. and was not harmed. Police say the father will not face any charges.

Man Arrested In Domestic Dispute

Still0326_00000SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — A Springfield man is in custody, accused in a domestic dispute Thursday morning.

Police were called to the Lindsay Apartments just after 11:00 a.m. near 5th and Q. They say multiple squad cars were on scene, because the victim reported being hit in the head with a weapon.

Police say they recovered a gun inside the apartment.

“There was no standoff. The subject was just hesitant to come out, reluctant to come out of the house. We took him into custody with the use of our canine and he was taken into custody and interviewed,” said Sgt. Jeff Martin with Springfield police.

Police say the victim suffered minor injuries and was not taken to the hospital. No word on what charges the suspect is facing.

Deerhorn Road Reopens After Mudslide

mudslideSPRINGFIELD, Ore. — A section of Deerhorn Road is open again after being closed for hours, blocked by a mudslide. The land gave way during overnight storms.

County crews were clearing the section after the mudslide early Tuesday morning knocked down 12 trees and blocked part of the street about half a mile from Highway 126. People who live nearby say they’re not surprised a mudslide happened

County officials say they were alerted at around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday morning of the situation.

Nearby residents say slides have happened here before so, they’re not shocked but they say they didn’t expect it from Monday’s weather conditions.

“It didn’t seem like it was raining that hard but it’s pretty steep and the ground is pretty wet above the road way,” said Kathleen Stearns, a nearby resident.

“I was driving into town and couldn’t drive the way I usually do, so I turned around and went the other way and on the way back, thought that I just had to see what’s going on,” said another nearby resident, Mike Maher.

Officials say safety is their top priority, so they’re working carefully, but efficiently so residents can have road access.

County officials say this is the only mudslide they’ve heard of and they’re working to stabilize the ground by removing any extra weight and pressure.

Thurston Cheer Places 2nd in Nationals

thurston cheerANAHEIM, CA. — The Thurston High School co-ed cheerleading squad is one of the best teams in the country.

The team got second place in the National Competition Sunday night.

The cheer team began competing back in December and qualified for nationals.

Sunday night they went head to head with the best teams from all over the United States.

“This might be the best group I’ve ever been associated with. This group has really come together like a family,” said coach James Underwood.

The team says it felt great to represent not only Springfield, but the state of Oregon at this competition.

Springfield Illuminates with LED Lights

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — A crowd gathered in downtown Springfield Friday night for a celebration of light as Springfield turned on dozens of new LED downtown lights.

The crowd cheered as the glow of the lights illuminated a downtown that needed some work.

“For me being you know a single person, not feeling great walking down the streets to now five years later being in the same space and kind of wanting to hang out here all the time,” said Leda Hermecz, Springfield resident.

35 LED lights line the streets of downtown Springfield.

It’s a project that’s been in the works for years.

The city bought used fixtures off of Craigslist, lights all connected to a wireless network it can control through the touch of a screen.

The city says it’s a more advanced system than most cities have because you can dim the lights, and the system alerts you when the lights are close to going out.

“Dimming is really important because lights over time will diminish how much light they put out so we have to design for that end of life amount of light,” said Brian Barnett, traffic engineer.

It’s a more cost effective strategy for a brighter downtown and a game changer for local businesses.

“The first night that they had them on and I was down here after dark I thought I left my lights on in my shop and it was like because I leave some of my lights on, but it was just, it was amazing,” said Karen Hageman, Haven owner.

The community says the lights make the city safer, and more inviting for folks to shop the downtown area.

“There wasn’t anything for me to go from one place to the next. Wasn’t anything drawing me to do that. And I think the lights and the new businesses and the new restaurants, they’re doing that, they’re creating that atmosphere,” said Marilee Woodrow, Springfield City Councilor.

“They have like a timeless look to them. They’re classic. Downtown Springfield is really doing great,” said Lisa-Marie DiVincent, Eugene resident.

The city says it bought the lights at a discounted price, only $85 each and these projects are engineered to last 50 years.

Man Facing Robbery Charges

robbery chargesSPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Springfield Police say a man who accidentally shot himself during an armed robbery will face a number of charges.

Police say Casey Carlson broke into an acquaintance’s home Saturday morning around 1:00 a.m.

He then got in a scuffle with the homeowners and accidentally shot himself in the leg.

Police say he’s facing charges of robbery, burglary, and unlawful use of a weapon.

“Right now he’s in the hospital receiving care for a gunshot wound and when he’s released to be able to go into custody, we’ll take him into custody at that point,” said Sgt. Dave Lewis.

Springfield Police say Carlson should be released from the hospital and taken into custody Tuesday.

Victim Speaks Out About Armed Robbery


springfield robberySPRINGFIELD, Ore. — A Springfield man is sharing his story after police say a man broke into his home, armed with a gun, and demanded money.

Greg Hessel says late Friday night an acquaintance entered his home in the 4100 block of Bluebelle Way, pointed a gun at his cousin’s face and demanded money.

Hessel is calling his cousin a hero, because he says he lunged at the intruder, Casey Carlson, and tackled him to the ground.

Hessel heard the commotion, went in the room and helped his cousin keep Carlson subdued. Police say Carlson shot himself in the leg during the dispute and called police to turn himself in.

Hessel says Sunday his family is just thankful no one else was hurt during the attempted robbery.

“We are still reeling from it, like I said. You know, I think in time we can look back on it and know the decisions we made were right,” said Hessel.

He says even though he was in the room, he didn’t hear the gunshot but his cousin did.

Springfield Police are still investigating this case, so Carlson’s charges for the incident are still pending.

Robbery Suspect Wounded by His Own Gun

Police-LightsSPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Early Saturday morning, SPD Officers were called to the 4100 block of Bluebelle Way in Springfield. Officers contacted Casey Carlson who was found in the street with a gunshot wound to his thigh.  Upon further investigation it became apparent Carlson had actually used the weapon in a robbery attempt.

Detectives found Carlson had forcibly entered the residence and produced a weapon. An occupant of the residence physically resisted Carlson and a struggle ensued.  During the struggle, the weapon discharged striking Carlson on his right thigh.  The homeowner received minor injuries.

Carlson was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries and underwent surgery.

Charges are pending and the investigation is continuing.


Driver in Deadly Crash Speaks

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – The driver involved in a crash that killed three children at 54th and Main in Springfield says he hasn’t wanted to drive since that day and has been relying on his son to get him around.

Larry La Thorpe was visibly upset when he talked to KEZI 9 News outside of his Thurston home on Thursday. The 69-year-old said he was on his way to Walgreen’s on the day of the crash, driving west on Main Street, when he missed the turn to the drugstore. He said he drove to 50th to turn around and was on his way back when the crash happened.

Police have said La Thorpe ran a red light, but he said he’s pretty sure it was green.

“I thought it was green so I just kept on rolling and next thing I know I hit them. I didn’t realize it. I didn’t see them,” said La Thorpe.

In a recently released affidavit for a search warrant, La Thorpe told investigators he was going the speed limit, but witnesses said the truck appeared to be speeding. Police said a breath test showed La Thorpe had not been drinking.

La Thorpe said he’s dealing the best he can with the guilt, something he may never get over. He also wishes the best for the Hudson family.

Click on the video below to watch our full interview with La Thorpe:

Two Arrested in Thurston INET Drug Bust


On Tuesday March 3, 2015, members of Lane County Inter-agency Narcotics Enforcement Team (INET) executed a state search warrant at the 6400 block of Thurston Rd, Springfield, Oregon.

Investigators seized three firearms along with evidence of the unlawful manufacturing and delivery of heroin and marijuana, and unlawful possession of heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana. Investigators found the garage area of the residence had been modified structurally to conceal growing marijuana plants and the residence’s electrical systems had been modified.
The City of Springfield Building Codes Department was consulted and determined the modifications to the electrical system were unsafe and requested the Springfield Utility Board to respond to the location and cut power to the building.

Alexey Nicholas Erhart
Alexey Nicholas Erhart

Alexey Nicholas Erhart, a 27 year old male, was lodged in the Lane County Jail on Unlawful Possession, Delivery and Manufacturing of Heroin within 1000’of a school, Unlawful Possession, Delivery, and Manufacturing of Marijuana within 1000’ of a school, Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine, Child Neglect I, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.

Kelina Justine Duran, a 28 year old female, was taken into custody and lodged on an outstanding Deschutes County arrest warrant.

Additional charges may be forthcoming as the investigation is continuing.

Kelina Justine Duran
Kelina Justine Duran

The Lane County Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team (INET) is comprised of personnel from the Oregon State Police, Lane County Sheriff’s Office, Lane County Parole and Probation Department, Eugene Police Department, Springfield Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Lane County District Attorney’s Office.

Anyone with information regarding illegal drug activity is encouraged to call the INET tip line at (541) 682-6266.





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