Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office says that the second suspect in the shooting of a Moclips man on March 13th, 2023 Rufus A Phelps IV 06-02-90 the son of Rufus A Phelps III who was taken into custody yesterday March 15th, is now in custody as well with additional charges to be possibly filed. 

On 03-16-23 Rufus A Phelps IV 06-02-90 was located and taken into custody without incident. A witness recognized Phelps in a public setting and contacted law enforcement officials. Law enforcement responded and took Phelps into custody. There are no more suspects identified at this point in the investigation. Detectives were able to locate what they believe is the firearm used in the murder.
During the murder investigation, an unrelated victim came forward and advised she was raped by Rufus A Phelps IV on 03-11-23. Detectives are still investigating this crime and at this point have developed probable cause for this additional charge. Phelps IV will be booked into the Grays Harbor County Jail as an accomplice to Murder 1st, Assault 2nd and Unlawful Possession of Firearm. The rape charge will be submitted to the Grays Harbor County Prosecutor when the investigation is completed.

We are very pleased to have both dangerous suspects in custody so quickly. The Grays Harbor Sheriff's Office Detectives and Deputies have worked around the clock on this investigation. We appreciate the assistance from the citizen who alerted us to Phelps. We also appreciate the assistance we received from numerous law enforcement agencies. Large investigations like this cannot be completed without teamwork from all law enforcement.

On 03-15-23 Grays Harbor Sheriff's Office Detectives made phone contact with Rufus A Phelps III (04-07-60) and negotiated his peaceful surrender. Phelps was wanted in connection with the murder of a 59 -year-old Moclips man that was shot and killed on 03-13-23 in Moclips, Washington. Phelps turned himself into law enforcement in Seattle, Washington. 

Detectives transported Phelps to the county jail where he will be booked for Murder 1st degree, Assault 2nd degree and Unlawful Possession of a firearm. 

 During this investigation, detectives have developed probable cause to arrest Phelp's son Rufus Andrew Phelps IV 06-02-90 as an accomplice to Murder 1st, Assault 2 and Unlawful possession of a firearm. If you see Phelps or know where he is located, please call 911. If you have information to provide, please call the non-emergency line 360-533-8765. You can email detectives at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

On 3-13-23 at approximately 1340 hours Grays Harbor County deputies were dispatched to the 100 block of Otis Avenue in Moclips for the report of a shooting.

 Deputies arrived at the scene and located a 59-year-old male who was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.  A deputy from the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office, an officer from the Quinault Police Department, and personnel from Fire District 8 began life saving efforts on the male victim but were unsuccessful and the man died shortly after being transported from the scene.

 Officers from the Hoquiam Police Department, Quinault Police Department, and the Aberdeen Police Department all arrived at the scene to assist in securing the scene, gathering statements, and attempting to locate the suspect. 

 Through interviews of neighbors and witnesses, deputies were able to identify the suspect as Rufas A. Phelps III DOB 4-7-60. Phelps fled the scene shortly after the incident. Investigators believe an argument started over a property dispute, which led to the shooting. 

Detectives finished searching the scene in the early morning hours of 3-14-23. The Sheriff’s Office is currently following up on leads, attempting to locate Phelps. Phelps should be considered armed and dangerous. Please do not attempt to approach him. If you see Phelps or know where he is located, please call 911. If you have information or leads on the case you can email detectives at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Searchers are still searching for a missing plane in rugged forest land near Queets that abruptly dropped off radar Monday evening March 6th 2023. Weather is preventing air search and rescue efforts from happening today Sunday, March 12th, but Crews will evaluate air search efforts again Monday, March 13th. Washington State’s Search and Rescue Planning Team continue to investigate last known primary radar returns of the plane.

Air Search and Rescue was notified of a missing 2006 Cessna T182 Turbo Skylane piloted by Rod Collen on Monday evening. Search efforts began that night and has included air searches on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday when the weather permitted safe flying conditions. Law enforcement and others have been patrolling roadways in the last known position area as well.

  Collen left the Tacoma Narrows Airport at 5:35 p.m. on Monday, and a few minutes into the flight the plane's Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) system was either turned off or malfunctioned and the plane was no longer visible on normal tracking systems in the air traffic controllers use. With the help of a specialized radar forensics team, primary radar returns were located that placed the aircraft near the coast between Lake Quinault and Queets. The final radar plots show the aircraft made a very rapid descent to the ground. Collen was the only one in the plane.

The Elma Police Department has released information on Social Media today, March 6th, 2023 regarding a bust that an Elma officer was involved in back on February 19, 2023.  They state that the subject that was contacted said that  identified himself as a transient Mexican immigrant with no known ties to Washington State and was currently in the United States on a Work Visa. However, the subject had no identification and his identity was unable to be verified.

Here is more on that story from The Elma Police Department.