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In celebration of the recovery of Lincoln City Police Officer Steven Dodds – and the continuing investigation as to the whereabouts of David Durham, his assailant.



Officer Steven Dodds
David Durham, still at large (bottom)

LINCOLN CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT

January 11, 2012

From: LT. JERRY PALMER

ONE YEAR SINCE LINCOLN CITY OFFICER DODDS SHOT DURING TRAFFIC STOP

January 23 will mark one year since Lincoln City Police Officer Steven Dodds was shot and seriously wounded during a traffic stop late that evening in 2011. Officer Dodds has demonstrated remarkable resilience and courage in overcoming life threatening injuries and has recently returned to his patrol duties. His reactions that night combined with the valiant and professional efforts of his Patrol Sergeant the other on duty members of LCPD and the outstanding emergency medical personnel in Lincoln City and Portland not only saved his life, but paved the way for his recovery. Officer Dodds and the members of Lincoln City Police Department remain ever grateful for those efforts.

Officer Dodds has worked tirelessly to recover and get back on patrol. He is back to performing the duties and work he loves, serving the community of Lincoln City. He has been recognized for his valor and courage by several entities, including receiving the Purple Heart from the Oregon Peace Officer Association. When asked how it he felt when this happened his response has been, “I was a victim for thirty seconds and I have been a survivor since.” He has no desire to be in the limelight or media. He is trying to put this event behind him and get back to as normal a life as possible. He has been very humbled by the overwhelming support of his community and fellow officers.

Officer Dodds was shot by the driver of a vehicle that he had stopped on Hwy. 101 at the south end of Lincoln City for a speeding violation. The shooter, who has been identified as David Durham, fled the scene shooting at bystanders and continued south on Hwy 101. Durham led officers from Newport Police Department and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department on a high speed chase through Newport and continued to shoot at the trailing police vehicles. His vehicle was disabled by spike strips deployed by an off duty Lincoln County Deputy, near Waldport. Durham fled on foot and allegedly shot at boaters on Alsea Bay as he tried to escape. Mr. Durham is suspected of shooting at nine other people besides Officer Dodds. An extensive manhunt was conducted with the help of numerous agencies, however Durham has never been found.

LCPD, OSP and the FBI continue the investigation and all three agencies followed up on separate tips this past week. The FBI has a $10,000 reward posted for information leading to the capture of Durham.

LCPD receives tips from all over the county every month. The tips come from multiple sources that include direct calls to our office from possible witnesses, calls from other law enforcement agencies and tips from America’s Most Wanted. The tips or leads are followed up as they come in. Tips and information we receive that are from local sources are followed up primarily by the lead investigators assigned to the case from LCPD and OSP Newport office. Tips from other states have been followed up by the Salem Office of the F.B.I. They have followed up on tips from all over the country from as far west as Hawaii and to the east Coast. Our investigators (LCPD and OSP) are in touch with the FBI on a weekly basis working on this case.

It is estimated that over a hundred tips have been received since the man hunt started. We are still receiving 3 to 5 a month. LCPD appreciates each and every one, not only from the general public but also from the law enforcement officers who call us with information. Since January 24, 2011 we have not received one confirmed sighting of David Durham after he was last seen running up the beach towards Bay Shore Subdivision in Waldport. While fleeing on foot it is believed that Durham also shot at two men crabbing in the Alsea Bay.

Due to the hard work and assistance from other law enforcement agencies we have been able to confirm that the many reported sightings of the suspect were positively not David Durham. There are some reported sightings that cannot be confirmed one way or the other. We also receive tips that are vague and anonymous with no way of contacting the tipster for more information.

The fact that there have been no sightings or confirmed information that he has been at a particular location after that night, indicates there is a possibility that Mr. Durham could be deceased. However, LCPD has no evidence that he is deceased and will continue this investigation until we find him or his remains. As part of our investigation, the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s office will examine the remains of any unknown human recovered along the Oregon area beaches and elsewhere for the possibility of identifying Durham. This has been done previously and none of the examinations conducted of human remains found along the Oregon beaches over the last year has resulted in an identification of Mr. Durham.

In addition to Mr. Durham being entered into criminal data bases as a wanted person/fugitive, he has also been entered as a missing and endangered person. This will provide additional data links if he is deceased and his unidentified remains were located in another state, such as Washington or California. It will be easier for authorities in those jurisdictions to identify the remains.

Last January, Mr. Durham was put on the U.S. Border Patrol and Custom’s watch list as well as the Canadian Border patrol watch list in case he tries to cross one of our borders. As of this date, there have been no reported crossings or attempted crossings.

Mr. Durham’s residence was monitored by Law Enforcement from the night of the shooting and for months afterwards. There is no evidence showing he ever returned to that location. Law Enforcement is monitoring other areas of Mr. Durham’s personal life which we cannot discuss due to the ongoing investigation and we have not found any evidence showing he was at a particular location after the night of the shooting.

After OSP SWAT and other assisting agencies ended their search of the Waldport area, the Lincoln County Search and Rescue team brought in Cadaver K-9’s and conducted a sweep of the vicinity and no Human remains were located.

We are still hopeful that Mr. Durham will be located and we will not give up our search until we find him. Investigators encourage anyone that sees David Durham or has information as to his whereabouts please contact the Lincoln City Police at 541-994-3636 or their local police or FBI office.

Lt. Jerry Palmer
Lincoln City Police
PH: 541-994-3636

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