Original 911 Call in Double Homicide Came from a Cell Phone
TRI-CITIES, Wash.--It was Ellen Schalchlin or Lori asking for help. Five seconds later, the line went dead. In Probable Cause documents, Lori's son, Donald said he called 911 to report what happened. According to the actual 911 recording, only Lori's voice could be heard.
After the line disconnected, a 911 dispatcher at Benton County Emergency Services in Richland improvised. She called the number back.
"When she got the voice message that said the name was Lori, she (dispatcher) put Lori and Ruppert Avenue together and did a check and found that there was indeed a Lori who lived on that road," says Steve Sautter, PIO Benton County Emergency Services. It turned out to be the right address."
Lieutenant Steve Keane with the Benton County Sheriff's Office credits the dispatcher for locating the address. If not for her effort, Keane says, it's likely, deputies would have had a manhunt for two suspects on their hands.
"It takes considerable amount of time to try to figure out where you're even going to start and then you often divide your resources between the scene itself and having people out looking for the suspects involved," mentions Lt. Keane.
On average, 911 dispatchers take 183 calls for emergency services every day. It's a job like any other. There are both good and bad days.
"They did an outstanding job and deserve a lot of credit," says Lt. Keane.
"When we get any type of pat on the back or kudos, we appreciate that, but we really don't expect it," admits Sautter.