SOUTH BEND — A man who is suspected of possessing thousands of pornographic images of children is in jail, due to a collaborative effort between law enforcement agencies in Warrenton, Ore., and Kittitas and Pacific counties in Washington, and tips from two eagle-eyed citizens who spotted him as he allegedly tried to leave the area.
Warrenton Police arrested Casey Robert Woodson, 60, formerly of Ocean Park, on Sept. 19. He was later extradited to Pacific County.
The local hunt for Woodson began in late July, when detectives in the Ellensburg Police Department asked Pacific County Sheriff’s Office for assistance. Ellensburg detectives were investigating an allegation that Woodson had taken sexually explicit photographs of a female minor there.
“They thought he was living in our area, so we conducted an investigation to assist them and see where this guy lived. We went and found where he was staying, and it was in Ocean Park,” PCSO Chief Criminal Deputy Pat Matlock said in a September phone interview.
With assistance from PCSO, the Ellensburg detectives on July 19 served a search warrant and searched Woodson’s home for evidence of the alleged crime. Matlock said the detectives took several pieces of media and storage devices back to Ellensburg, but did not make an arrest.
When experts at the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office forensically examined the devices, they did not find images related to the original investigation. However, according to a probable cause statement, they did allegedly find a cache of more than 5,000 sexually explicit images of prepubescent girls. The Ellensburg police provided copies of the files to PCSO, so deputies could initiate a local investigation.
The local authorities in September secured a warrant for Woodson’s arrest. However, by then, he had moved his RV to a new, unknown location.
Starting on Rod Run Weekend, PCSO deputies began distributing posters with Woodson’s photo and information. The effort paid off on Sept. 19, when a woman who works at a business on Bay Avenue in Ocean Park called 911 to report that she thought Woodson had just stopped in at her workplace. She said a man who fit Woodson’s description had asked for information about how to get a bus to Sequim.
“We got a call that this guy may have been up in OP looking for a bus pass or something,” Matlock said. Local authorities quickly began searching for Woodson all over the Peninsula, but they didn’t have to search for long.
“About an hour and a half later, we got a call from [Warrenton] saying they had arrested him,” Matlock said. “They called to confirm on a warrant.”
According to a staff member at the Warrenton Police Department, WPD officers arrested Woodson on the outstanding child porn warrant at about 3 p.m., after a citizen recognized him, and called police to report that he was on SE Anchor Street, near the Fred Meyer shopping center.
Woodson was booked into Clatsop County Jail overnight, then moved to Pacific County Jail on Sept. 20. At his arraignment on Sept. 23, he was charged with possession of child pornography. He is being held on $100,000 bail.