Body found in abandoned rail tunnel

by: Photo by Joe McHaney - The body of a Seattle man was found inside an old, abandoned rail tunnel near Warm Springs on May 30.

   Following last Wednesday's discovery of a bloodied body in a railroad tunnel just south of the Deschutes River, outside of Warm Springs, two men have been arrested and charged with murder.
   James Ryan Johnson, 31, and Steven Neal Anderson Jr., 23, both of Warm Springs, were arraigned in the Jefferson County Circuit Court on June 1 on charges of murder and first-degree manslaughter in the death of Dennis Michael Jones, 48, of Seattle, Wash.
   After advising the two men, who appeared via a video feed from the Jefferson County Correctional Facility, of their rights and the charges pending against them, Circuit Court Judge Annette Hillman denied security for the two men.
   "Count one, murder, is a nonreleasable offense," she said.
   Murder, an unclassified felony, is punishable by 25 years to life in prison, while first-degree manslaughter, a Class A felony, is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $375,000.
   According to the affadavits for the arrest warrants, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center received a report of a dead body inside the abandoned rail tunnel off Northwest Mecca Road -- behind Rainbow Market -- around 10:30 a.m. May 30.
   Sheriff Jim Adkins affirmed Monday that the body was reported by a man from Klamath Falls who was accompanied by his 14-year-old daughter and her friend.
   The man, who was headed out to fish, noticed blood outside the tunnel and then peered into the tunnel, where he spotted what appeared to be a body about 20 yards from the north entrance, the affadavits noted.
   Adkins said that tunnel, where the victim was found, dates back to 1912. "Transients use it occasionally," he said. "It's really dirty in there, with rocks and garbage."
   Investigators from the JCSO and Warm Springs Police Department learned that the victim had been camping at the Mecca Flat Campground, and that his vehicle was missing. The victim, Dennis Jones, who was positively identified on Monday, appeared to have been subjected to blunt force trauma, according to the arrest affadavits.
   On May 31, police located Jones' vehicle at a residence in the Simnasho area, and Johnson and Anderson were arrested when they got into the vehicle and attempted to leave.
   The two men were reported to have been camping with the victim, or hanging around the victim's campsite, which had been reserved through May 30.
   Both men will have court-appointed attorneys for their official arraignment on charges to be determined by a grand jury. Their next court appearance is set for 1 p.m. June 7.
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