‘They need to do a better job’: Family demanding answers months after man found dead in Lewis County
An Oregon family is demanding answers after their family member, Aron Christensen, and his 4-month-old puppy, Buzzo, were killed in Lewis County near Walupt Lake.
It happened in August but no one has been charged for their murder.
“I feel like I’ve been unwillingly dragged through hell for the past three or four months,” Corey Christensen, Aron’s brother, said. “My brother was loved and cared for — he was a member of the Portland music community, he was a chef, he was a bartender, he was a vinyl presser — he has a huge group of friends and you can see that when they all go up to Chehalis and have a rally for him.”
Aron and Buzzo were hiking and their bodies were discovered by another group of hikers.
Corey said their family was originally told by the sheriff’s office that Aron had suffered a heart attack.
However, the coroner later confirmed with KIRO’s sister station in Portland that his death was a homicide. He was killed by a gunshot wound to the chest.
“They need to do a better job and they need to do a … more thorough job. … I understand that these things take time but at the same time, you cannot drag a family through hell by saying these are good kids, saying he had a heart attack, whoops he was shot, laced marijuana, — no, none of that should be said to a grieving family, ever,” Corey said.
The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office announced that as a result of the coroner’s determination, a 20-year-old man and a 17-year-old teenager would face charges of first-degree manslaughter and animal cruelty.
“Aron is dead, Buzz is dead and we want to know what happened,” Kiki Rose, a friend of the family, said.
The sheriff’s office said that on Aug. 21, a day after their bodies were found, a member of one of the suspects’ families reached out with information.
The 20-year-old and 17-year-old told law enforcement that they were hiking around 9 p.m. when they heard growling noises and saw the eyes of what they thought was a wild animal. That was when they opened fire.
“They thought it was a mountain lion, is what I heard the police told me. A 4-month-old puppy doesn’t sound like a mountain lion, a cougar at all, or even look like it,” Corey said.
Corey said Buzzo’s cause and manner of death still haven’t been released.
The charges that were referred by the sheriff’s office were sent back by the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office because the prosecutor said they were incomplete.
“Once it was received by us, we looked at the reports and we determined that there was additional investigation that needed to be done, and so it was sent back to the sheriff’s office to complete that investigation,” Jonathan Meyer, the Lewis County prosecuting attorney, said.
Now, the Christensens are trying to find answers in any way they can.
“The family has resorted to paying for paid advertisements in local newspapers, setting up their own tip line, a GoFundMe account to help pay for all of these things that we’re trying to do — to just simply find out what happened to Aron and to Buzz,” Rose said.
A GoFundMe has been set up by the family to help pay for costs.