Investigation still ongoing in Cape George stabbing

Posted 2/12/20

The investigation into the death of a 29-year-old man in Cape George is still ongoing, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

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Investigation still ongoing in Cape George stabbing

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The investigation into the death of a 29-year-old man in Cape George is still ongoing, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

No charges were filed during a June 10 arraignment for 23-year-old Celinda Kaitlin Marie LaDue, who was accused of stabbing her boyfriend John Rowland to death June 5. LaDue was initially arrested for second-degree manslaughter, but since no charges were filed, she was released.

Detective Derek Allen said on Jan. 27 that detectives are waiting for forensic digital evidence to be analyzed from the outside source Cellbrite, which Allen said is a company that analyzes forensic data from cell phones.

In the digital age, evidence can be found on phones or apps like Facebook, he said. It takes time and effort to wade through all of the information to determine if anything pertains to the case.

After the investigation is complete, the investigators will present the material to the Jefferson County prosecutor’s office, which will decide whether to charge LaDue.

At her arraignment on June 10, prosecuting attorney Chris Ashcraft said the state was not going to file any charges yet, relieving her of all conditions Judge Keith Harper had placed on her prior to her release after her arrest on the night Rowland died.

Originally, detectives predicted the investigation would be wrapped up by November.

The night of June 5, LaDue called for an ambulance at 10:18 p.m., 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 the 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 Jefferson County Detective Shane 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.

Community members and family held a memorial service for Rowland on June 30. He was known around town for his work at the Old Whiskey Mill and Sirens Pub.

Rowland has two brothers in Port Townsend. His father lives in Pierce County, according to Allen. Rowland had three sons with a previous girlfriend.

LaDue worked at Jefferson Healthcare since 2015 as care team support, but is no longer an employee there, said Amy Yaley, director of public relations for the hospital.

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