Homicide investigation ongoing

Posted 7/17/19

The investigation into the death of 29-year-old John Rowland is still ongoing, according to Jefferson County Sheriff’s detectives on the case.

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Homicide investigation ongoing

Posted

The investigation into the death of 29-year-old John Rowland is still ongoing, according to Jefferson County Sheriff’s detectives on the case.

Rowland was stabbed to death by his girlfriend, Celinda Kaitlin Marie LaDue, at their house in Cape George on June 5.

No charges have been filed against LaDue yet.

Prosecuting attorney Chris Ashcraft said the state intended to complete the investigation and get all the facts of the case before filing any charges, as the statute of limitations on a case like this is long, he said.

Meanwhile, Detective Shane Stevenson has been actively working on the case since the events occurred.

“There have been interviews and other things we’ve been doing to help figure out what happened that night,” he said. “Since the homicide, other than my days off, I’ve been working on this case the entire time.”

LaDue called for an ambulance at 10:18 p.m. on June 5, telling dispatchers she had stabbed Rowland in the stomach and was holding pressure on the wound.

Rowland was face down on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood at 10:25 p.m. when the first Jefferson County deputy arrived at the Johnson Avenue home the couple shared, according to documents submitted at her initial hearing.

A knife presumed to be the weapon used on Rowland was found under his body.

Medics soon arrived and by 10:46 p.m. had declared him dead at the scene.

The couple had been drinking at a neighbor’s home before returning to their house.

During an emotional conversation about his past, Rowland attacked her on their porch, LaDue told Stevenson.

Stevenson said she told him she retreated to the kitchen after a first tussle, grabbed a steak knife from a butcher block and, when Rowland advanced again, stabbed him.

The autopsy report was not available to the public at this time, Ashcraft said, since the investigation is still ongoing.

Stevenson said the investigation could wrap up anywhere between a couple of weeks and a couple of months.

“It’s a matter of compiling everything we have and getting it to the prosecutor’s office for them to look at,” he said.

Meanwhile, friends and family of John Rowland have been raising money for a memorial fund for his children.

Melanie Rowland, a relative, set up a GoFundMe page which has raised $1,985 so far.

“If you knew Johnny, you know he was a happy go lucky man who always went out of his way to make everyone smile and laugh,” wrote Melanie Rowland on the GoFundMe page. “Johnny was a dad of three, a son, a brother, and most of all, a friend. Johnny tragically lost his life on June 5, 2019, and we may never know why.”

The money raised will go to his three sons, according to the page.

Rowland had twin boys who were 8 years old, and a younger son who was 4 years old.

Since no charges were filed, LaDue was free to leave the Jefferson County Jail after her June 10 arraignment.

“This is an unusual situation,” Superior Court Judge Keith Harper said at that time, speaking to her via Skype. “I’ve read the probable cause statement. I don’t see you as being a flight risk or a threat to others or yourself.”

Superior Court rules in Washington require accused persons in non-capital cases to be released on their own recognizance unless it is shown they are a flight risk or a danger.

“She’s a victim of domestic violence,” said Richard Davies, her court-appointed defense counsel for the probable cause hearing. “She called 911, fully cooperated with law enforcement. She’s got no criminal history.”

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