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Sultan man arrested in 34-year old missing person case
March 06, 2017
This report first aired Sunday 3/5/17 in the Chronicle's
At left: Bernard Swaim, 60, of Sultan, WA who was arrested on murder charge. Right: Stephen E. Smith who vanished in July 1982. Photos: Chelan County Sheriff's Office. CLICK TO ENLARGE
Breaking News Column
Since this story was published, a second arrest has been made in this case. Read this March 7th Feature News story here . Original story is below.
(WENATCHEE, WA.) -- The Chelan County Sheriff's office in Wenatchee has announced the arrest of a Sultan, WA man in a 34-year old missing person case in eastern Washington.
Sheriff Brian Burnett announced on Friday the arrest of 60-year old Bernard Swaim of Sultan, WA in connection with the 1982 disappearance of Cashmere, WA resident Stephen E. Smith.
Cashmere is a small community of just 3,000 people located on State Route 97 about 12 miles from Wenatchee. Swaim was charged with First Degree Murder.
In a statement, the sheriff's office said on July 18, 1982 then 30-year old Stephen Smith was listed as a missing person by family members. He was last seen at his home on or about July 12, 1982.
His car was found abandoned a few days later on, ironically, a road called "Dead Man's Hill Road" near Dryden, WA in Chelan County.
The case went cold in 1982 and Mr. Smith was never located.
In late 2016 the Smith case was assigned to detectives for further investigation and "Through interviews with multiple people including Mr. Smith's family members family members and witnesses, detectives identified Bernard Swain as a person of interest in Mr. Smith's disappearance," according to sheriff Burnett's statement.
No other details of the case were announced but the sheriff's office said more information would be made public on Monday afternoon.
Story tags: Chelan County cold case, disappearance of Stephen E. Smith of Cashmere, WA, Bernard Swain of Sultan, WA, Chelan County Sheriff's office