Press Release

Whitley County Sheriff Dept.

Additional photos released in theft investigation –

The Sheriff’s Department has obtained the following photos of individuals who may have knowledge of a theft that occurred in the parking lot of Goldbug Baptist Church County on January 17, 2016.Theft case1 Theft case2 - Copy theft case3
The department appreciates the public’s help in attempting to identify and locate these men. Anybody with information is asked to call Whitley County E911 at (606) 549-6017. Deputy James Fox is leading the investigation.

Whitley County experiencing another round of phone scams

In the past week, the Sheriff’s Department has received multiple requests for advice after area residents received suspicious phone calls. The scam attempts involve persons claiming to be affiliated with the United States Department of Treasury. The callers threaten lawsuits or arrests and request personal and financial information.

The fact is, a real representative of the IRS never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone.

According to the IRS, “If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes, then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1 800 366-4484.” If you know (or think) that you owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 1 800 829-1040.

Due to this scam targeting our area again, please share this information with your friends and family. Please consider that elderly citizens are especially susceptible to this type of scam.

The Sheriff’s Department appreciates your assistance in spreading this information and helping to protect your friends and family.

Fatal Collision

Around 5:30 p.m. Monday January 11, 2016, Deputy Jonas Saunders responded to a single vehicle wreck near the intersection of US Hwy 25 near the intersection of Mt. Ash Road. Witnesses say a black truck crossed lanes and left the roadway after encountering vehicles stopped and waiting to turn onto Mt. Ash Road.

Whitley County EMS and the Whitley Co. Coroner’s office were called to the scene. Hwy 25 was closed for approximately two hours. Investigation at the scene suggest the decedent was not wearing a seatbelt when the wreck occurred, and speed is believed to be a factor. Drug or alcohol abuse are not believed to be contributing factors.

The sheriff’s department asks that you keep the friends and family of Sandra Petrey, 59, of Whitley County, in your thoughts and prayers. She was an employee of the Whitley County School District.

Assisting at the scene were Lieutenant Tim Baker and members of the Pleasant View Fire Department.



Missing juvenile located, arrest made

The 16-year-old male who was recently reported missing from the Piney Grove Road area of Whitley County was located on January 11, 2016 in Kokomo, Indiana. Police there also arrested James S. Wimmer, 25, of Kokomo, per a warrant obtained by the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department.

The juvenile was reported missing on January 8 by a foster parent. Information obtained during the investigation that day resulted in an arrest warrant for the crime of kidnapping being issued for Wimmer. He is now awaiting extradition to Kentucky, and the investigation is continuing.

The sheriff’s department appreciates everybody who shared information of the missing juvenile to help locate him and ensure his safety. The sheriff’s department would also like to thank the Kokomo Police Department for their work.

The local investigation was conducted by Lieutenant Dennis Foley. Lt. Foley was assisted by Chief Deputy K.Y. Fuson, Sergeant/School Resource Officer David Lennon, Regional Emergency Management Director Jerry Rains and Whitley County E911 dispatchers.


Deputies to receive new bulletproof vests

Deputies to receive new bulletproof vests

Sheriff Colan Harrell is pleased to announce that the sheriff’s department has received funding to purchase bulletproof vests for all deputies. Earlier this year, Sheriff Harrell applied for the grant money through the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security.

“I can’t express how thankful I am. This is a big step forward for the department,” said Sheriff Harrell. “It might surprise a lot of people to learn that a single bulletproof vest costs over $600.”

The grant money Whitley County will receive comes from the sale of seized firearms. The sheriff’s department and other local law enforcement agencies transfer custody of seized firearms to the Kentucky State Police, which auctions the guns to licensed sellers. Proceeds from the auction go to the Law Enforcement Protection Program, which provides grant money for local law enforcement to purchase body armor, duty weapons and electronic-control weapons (“Tasers”).