On March 16, 2023, at around 2202 hours, the Klickitat County Department of Emergency Management received information from the FBI Taskforce out of Yakima, Washington, of a possible suspect involved in burning two bodies on the Yakama Nation Tribal Reservation in the Toppenish, Washington, area.
One of the suspects was believed to be in the Goldendale area.
On March 17, 2023, at around 0203 hours, Officer Michael Steljes with the Goldendale Police Department, Deputy Zack McBride with the Sheriff’s Office, and agents with the FBI Taskforce located a vehicle associated with one of the suspects in the case, in Goldendale. A traffic stop was conducted on the associated vehicle and two subjects were taken into custody. The fist subject was determined to be a suspect in the burning of the two bodies and the second subject was determined to not be involved in the incident, but was found to have a warrant for his arrest in an unrelated case.
Through the investigation, it was determined a homicide involving the two dead bodies had occurred on Box Canyon Road north of Goldendale in Klickitat County, Washington. A third crime scene was located along Highway 97 on the Yakama Nation Tribal Reservation.
Agents with the FBI Seattle Office, as well as Agents with the FBI Yakima Office processed the crime scene where the bodies had been burned. The Washington State Patrol sent a Detective unit as well as a Washington State Patrol Crime Scene Response Team to assist in processing the other crime scenes.
A second suspect was identified and is believed to be the shooter. The second suspect is believed to still be armed with the weapon used in the homicide and was believed to have been driver to Rufus, Oregon.
The Sherman County Sheriff’s assisted in the investigation, and called in The Dalles Police Department SWAT Team, as well as the Mid-Columbia SWAT Team.
Attempts were made to arrest the second suspect at his residence, but the suspect left approximately 20 minutes before the SWAT Teams arrived.
Warrants were issued for the second suspect charging him with two counts of Murder in the First Degree. The second suspect was identified as John Scott Raczykowski, 31 years old of Rufus, Oregon.
Raczykowski is believed to be armed and dangerous.