Suspect in pot shop kidnapping confesses to killing employee Cam - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Suspect in pot shop kidnapping confesses to killing employee Cameron Smith and second man

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Lucid shop employee who was kidnapped, Cameron Smith. Lucid shop employee who was kidnapped, Cameron Smith.
Police are looking for this man who they saw shot at an employee who was sitting in his car outside the Lucid pot shop in Cheney. He then stole the car while the employee was still inside. The employee hasn't been seen since. Police are looking for this man who they saw shot at an employee who was sitting in his car outside the Lucid pot shop in Cheney. He then stole the car while the employee was still inside. The employee hasn't been seen since.

10-24-17 UPDATE:

WHITE SWAN, WA - Federal officials say they've found human remains on the Yakama Indian Reservation. 

The FBI says the remains were found in September, but they have yet to be identified.

The discovery follows Donovan Cups's jailhouse confession last week that he killed a Cheney marijuana store employee as well as a second man last summer.

The FBI found the remains where Culps said they were, but they have declined to say whether Culps is connected.

In the jailhouse confession, the 36-year-old Culps said he killed the man because he had killed the mother of his child.

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9-19-17 UPDATE:

SPOKANE, WA - Donavon Culps, the man arrested in the kidnapping of a Cheney marijuana store employee, has given a jailhouse confession to our sister station, KHQ.
    
Culps told KHQ Monday that he shot Cameron Smith several times after Smith declined to sell him pot products because he didn't have identification.
    
The 36-year-old Culps told the station he was having a bad day and that Smith "got the ugly side of it."
    
Culps is in a Spokane jail on accusations of kidnapping and robbery. He has not been charged for killing Smith.
    
Culps' niece, 18-year-old Violetta Culps, remains at large.
    
Authorities say the 46-year-old Smith was abducted from the parking lot of Lucid Marijuana on September 10 as he was eating lunch in his car.
    
Culps was arrested in Goldendale on Thursday.

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9-18-17 UPDATE:

SPOKANE, WA - Police say the body of a Cheney marijuana shop employee was found days after he was kidnapped outside of work.
    
Spokane County Rescue found Cameron Smith's body Friday afternoon off state Route 904 near Four Lakes. Police say his body was concealed in "heavy cover" several feet from the road.
    
Authorities say the 46-year-old worker was abducted from the parking lot of Lucid Marijuana in Cheney on September 10 as he was eating lunch in his car.
    
Police say 36-year-old Donavon Culps and his niece Violetta Culps kidnapped Smith when they were refused service inside the store because they didn't have identification.
    
Culps was arrested in Goldendale Thursday. He is being held in the Spokane County Jail on $1 million bail on armed robbery and kidnapping charges. His niece remains at large.

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9-15-17 UPDATE:

CHENEY, WA - 46-year-old Cameron Smith, the pot shop employee who was kidnapped and carjacked on Sunday, has been found dead, as confirmed by our sister station, KHQ.

No other details or information regarding Smith have been provided by authorities. This story will be updated as soon as more information is available.

Also, the man suspected of abducting Smith is in custody, but his suspected accomplice and niece is still on the run tonight.

Donavon Culps from White Swan was arrested last night after a police chase in Goldendale. He's expected to be extradited back to Spokane County as early as next week.

Police are still looking for 18-year-old Violetta Culps.

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9-14-17 UPDATE:

GOLDENDALE, WA - On September 14 at around 2:13 p.m., the multi-jurisdictional Yakima Violent Crime Task Force took Donavon Culps into custody.

Culps was taken into custody in Klickitat County, in the Goldendale, WA area following a short pursuit ending in a collision. There were no injuries and while Culps was taken into custody, the other occupants of the vehicle fled on foot and have not been identified at this time.

Detectives from the Cheney Police Department will be responding to Goldendale to conduct follow up in this case.

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9-12-17 UPDATE:

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, WA - Airway Heights Police confirm that the SUV belonging to a Cheney man who was kidnapped at gunpoint from Lucid pot shop has been found in Airway Heights. 

Police and forensics teams are on the scene Tuesday afternoon conducting an investigation.

Airway Heights Police Chief Lee Bennett tells KHQ officers responded to a call around 1:15 p.m. of an abandoned vehicle that may have been in the area since 6 a.m. on Monday. Responding officers ran a check of the registration and found out it belonged to 46-year-old Cameron Smith, who was kidnapped Sunday afternoon.

The investigation is in its preliminary stages, so details are slim, but Chief Bennett says no one was found inside or around the vehicle. The area around the SUV has been closed off while forensics teams and detectives conduct a thorough investigation.

Chief Bennett is urging any witnesses in the area of 12th and Craig Road in Airway Heights who may have seen anything to call law enforcement immediately because any small detail may help the investigation.

On Tuesday afternoon, responding officers were canvassing the area to see if any cameras in the area may have picked up anything of interest.

Later Tuesday afternoon, authorities confirmed that Smith's wallet had also been found. A man found the wallet and called Cheney Police. The wallet was found on Little Falls Road on the Spokane Indian Reservation. 

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9-10-17 ORIGINAL STORY:

CHENEY, WA - Cheney Police have released the name of the two suspects they believed are involved in the shooting, carjacking and kidnapping of an employee at a Cheney pot shop Sunday afternoon.

Police are actively searching for Donavon Culps and Violetta Culps and are asking the public to share photos provided from surveillance video.

Authorities say the male suspect was refused service at the Lucid marijuana shop Sunday afternoon because he didn't have his ID. When the man left the shop he reportedly shot at an employee who was eating lunch in his car outside, and then broke into that employee's car and drove off with the employee still inside.

As of Sunday evening, the Lucid employee is still missing and police are investigating.

Police say the ongoing investigation determined there were three people involved in the incident including two women and one man. It's not clear yet, exactly what role Violetta Culps played in the incident. Donavon Culps appears to have facial and neck tattoos and was the person firing the shots and driving the employee away.

The victim was identified as 46-year-old Cameron Smith. He was last seen wearing a Lucid baseball cap and matching shirt.   

Police believe the male suspect is driving the victim's vehicle which is described as a 2008 Acura MDX SUV with Washington license plate BCV4296. Donavon Culps is from Yakima so its possible they are headed in that direction. The two women were last seen leaving the scene in a white Ford F-250 utility pickup with an unknown license plate.

Call 911 or Cheney Police immediately if you see the man or the SUV. Their number is (509) 498-9235

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