Sheriff under fire by community

On Thursday, April 26, the Virgin Rivers Communities held its annual meeting, which included Mohave County officials and Sheriff Doug Schuster.

While some may have been there to ask questions of some of the Mohave County officials, the general audience was there to hold the sheriff accountable for his staff and find out what is going on with the McFall case.

The first and only question asked to anyone other than the Sheriff was to the Mohave County Animal Control Officer about Arizona Strip Residents having to drive to Kingman for a first-time dog license. That situation has been resolved and residents can now mail in a copy of their current rabies vaccination, from a licensed veterinarian, and a check for the amount of the dog license.

License fees are $10 for an altered dog and $31 for unaltered dogs. Checks and current vaccination information can be sent to: Western Arizona Humane Society, 950 Buchanan St. Kingman, AZ, 86401.

The questions started flowing for the sheriff after that.

Schuster replied to the initial questions with, “This investigation has taken up a tremendous amount of man hours, we’ve got fantastic detectives that are working the case and following every single lead. Several search warrants were done; we did several search warrants on those first two days after it was reported. A lot of evidence was gathered and some of the evidence has been shipped off to the FBI Crime Lab and we’re still waiting.”

Schuster said they are unfortunately backlogged for at least three more months but the state crime lab would have had twice as long a wait time because of the backlog of evidence being processed by the agencies. Schuster said there is a high priority on this case and he’s got all available manpower on it.

One of the questions asked was about the search of the dump in which the Sheriff replied that he couldn’t recall the exact details of what lead them out there, the deputies have been briefing him continually on the case but something lead them out there but he didn’t know what that was.

Many residents complained that the lead detective on the case has not been seen in this area by any of the residents who attended the meeting and that several had made phone calls to him about information they’d received and their phone calls went unreturned for weeks. Schuster said he hadn’t been made aware of that before now and he would do something to correct that.

About three minutes into the sheriff’s speech, he said, “I know there’s some unhappiness in the room and I apologize for that but we’re doing everything we can. Mohave County is a huge county and we have a very limited resource bank and we’ve dedicated all our Kingman resources to this case. We’ve been working it steadily and we have a total of five detectives in this entire county.”

Three minutes later, he said, “I don’t want anyone to think this isn’t important to us, these detectives live this. While this is going on we have another seven homicides active that we’re working in this county and our resources are spread so we’ve reached out to the FBI.”

This statement caught the attention of David Bounsall, the Federal Fugitive Recovery Expert who is currently working the case on a volunteer basis. Bounsall wanted to confirm that this was a possible murder case. Bounsall said, about the lead investigator, “He’s not returning calls for weeks, this is a missing person, possibly a homicide,” to which the Sheriff interjected the word, “Sure.”

The general consensus of the community is that they aren’t really sure. They picked up on a few misspoken words on the part of the Sheriff about digging up the septic tanks on both properties. Schuster said he was personally there when the septic tanks on both properties were dug up. He personally pulled the plug on the McFalls septic tank and that he personally ran a stick around one of the McFalls tank.

When he was challenged on this statement by Bounsall who said, “I dug up the McFalls septic tank; it had not been touched before that.” Schuster said, “I apologize, I misspoke.”  He then said, “If we have any reason to believe that we missed information or there’s evidence there, we’ll come back.”

Schuster did acknowledge that he knew David Myhaver, the only person of interest in the case and neighbor to the McFalls, had recently installed a new septic tank. Bounsall told the sheriff that Myhaver had neglected to pull a permit on the tank. Schuster said he didn’t know and the Mohave County Development Services representative responded from the sidelines “I don’t believe so.”

Additional tips and leads were passed on to Schuster about the septic tank and now the residents are waiting to see what happens and if he keeps his promises about correcting the poor behavior of the lead investigator and checking further into the alleged illegal installation of Myhaver’s new septic tank.

Comments

  1. Lee R. Harper says:

    Sounds like LVMPD

  2. Margo Scoville says:

    Ok my concern is if you can’t accommodate the work load why are you not pulling officers in from like Phoenix, Flagstaff, etc. ? This is a violent double disappearance/homicide that deserves more attention. I think the family has been patient long enough is it time for contact with the Az governor? My name is Margo Scoville and I am Jerry Srs sister. Patiently waiting for a response.

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