PINEHURST, Idaho – Three separate investigations are underway that involve the rooms where North Idaho law enforcement agencies store their evidence.
KREM 2 News learned that Idaho State Police were asked to investigate the police department in the City of Pinehurst. The agency is still investigating the St. Maries police department along with the Sheriff's Office in Shoshone County.
An ISP spokesperson said these investigations are not related and one has been closed. The investigation into the Shoshone County Sheriff's Office dates back to last fall and the investigation is still active.
The Pinehurst Police Department was investigated by Idaho State Police over the summer. ISP said that investigation involves the department's evidence room. According to an ISP spokesperson, the investigation was requested by Shoshone County prosecutor Keisha Oxendine. Officials said they received that request in June and that their investigation into Pinehurst PD has since wrapped up. As to specifics of the investigation or if any charges were brought about, that is not clear.
When contacted by email Thursday, Oxendine said that she was not able to immediately confirm what became of the probe. She did not respond to a question asking about what prompted the investigation. KREM 2 reached out to Pinehurst city officials, but they directed us to the prosecutor's office as well. The Pinehurst matter marks the third such investigation in North Idaho over the last year.
The police department in St. Maries requested that ISP investigate their department back in July. Like the Pinehurst case, ISP said the investigation involves the department's evidence room. Since that investigation began, the department's Chief and a Sergeant have resigned.
In addition to those, is the ongoing investigation into the Shoshone County Sheriff's Office. An employee noticed that some evidence was missing from the department last November. At the county's request, ISP came in to investigate and during that time one employee resigned from the Sheriff's Office. Over six months later, that investigation has not wrapped up yet.
In a statement to KREM 2 on Your Side, Shoshone County Sheriff Mitch Alexander said, "I'm hopeful charges can be brought against the person (s) responsible. Law Enforcement should be held to a higher standard. It's an embarrassment to our office, our county and our profession."
An ISP spokesperson said that to her knowledge there are no other investigations into evidence rooms in North Idaho at this time. It is not clear when the Shoshone County or St. Maries investigations will wrap up.