You think you’ve got it tough

Print Article

Ninety-five days.

Seven bodies.

No answers.

In retrospect, the second half of 2016 was beyond challenging for the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office. While Sheriff Ben Wolfinger’s team has made arrests related to the murder of Bo Kirk, several other investigations into suspicious deaths are ongoing. Among them:

• The July 30 boating crash on Lake Coeur d’Alene that left all three people on one boat dead.

• The Oct. 9 accident in Hayden in which 38-year-old Amber E. Viuhkola was struck and killed by a sheriff’s deputy’s car at 1:35 a.m. as she attempted to cross U.S. 95 at Miles Avenue.

• The early November death of 25-year-old Misty Phelps and her two sons, ages 1 and 2. The bodies of Phelps and her children were found in a submerged car near a Fernan Lake boat launch.

Hardly a day goes by without readers calling The Press, angry that details on one or more of these cases have not been released to the public (or suggesting the newspaper has failed to follow up on these important stories). We understand their frustration. We also wish to share a little perspective.

What citizens demand from the world of law and order is justice. Rendering justice takes time under the very best of circumstances. There’s evidence to collect. Eyewitnesses to find. Interviews to conduct. Every step must be taken meticulously for justice to prevail — and that includes preparing for court cases where every possible flaw will be exposed not under microscopes, but on courtroom stages with spotlight beams blazing.

Our sheriff’s office, which also has been dealing with Bo Kirk’s murder, car thefts and countless other “regular” crimes, has been facing some of the worst circumstances imaginable: Multiple complex investigations over a short time with limited staff and budget considerations. While it’s true Idaho State Police are investigating the deputy-pedestrian fatality, that case is itself a dark cloud hanging over the entire department. We can’t imagine it’s a condition which boosts morale or inspires productivity.

Like you, we’re eager for information and ultimately, closure, on these high-profile cases. But we also think you want the cases to be closed with as much assurance as possible that they’ve been done right. And for that there’s no timetable, and no deadline.

Print Article

Read More Editorial

The sweet first taste of summer

May 26, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Remember Scrooge and Cratchit? Today, at a business near you, a wintry Christmas Eve in London is about to be played out North Idaho style in May. Employees will leak from the workplace like a fauce...

Comments

Read More

Here’s to the cream of the crop

May 24, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Consider this editorial a validation and a salute — to Kootenai County high school valedictorians and salutatorians. This week, The Press is dedicating front-page real estate to recognize our public...

Comments

Read More

How to better serve public interest

May 21, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Idaho code from 74-101 through 74-126 covers the state’s public records law. There’s not a whole lot there, and some of what is there doesn’t smack of specificity. So it is with disappointment but ...

Comments

Read More

Editorial: We need good books — and good people

May 19, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press In the great library debate, Glen Seely is right. And so is John Hartung. They’re both right in that their efforts, which at times might appear counter to each other, are actually pointed in the sa...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2017 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X