Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office Investigate Suspicious Death

The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office is investigating a drug-related 'suspicious death.'

Posted: Nov 9, 2017 11:51 AM
Updated: Dec 31, 2019 11:34 PM

DORRIS, Calif. -- The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said on October 16, 2017 at 3:33 a.m., it received a call of a suicide that on Sequoia Way in the Pleasant Valley Highlands, near Dorris, California. Sergeant Weed was dispatched to the call and arrived in the area and contacted the reporting party 10 minutes later.

After arriving at a trailer used as a primary residence on the rural parcel, the Sheriff's Office said Sergeant Weed found a woman suffering severe injuries from an apparent gunshot wound and was was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office said Vang Pao Lee, 38, with an address in Dorris, CA and Vadnais, Minnesota, was at the residence and claimed the woman, a close friend, shot herself with a handgun. The Sheriff's Office said it checked Lee's criminal history.

It revealed Mr. Lee was a convicted felon and he was arrested for the felony charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Sheriffs said preliminary investigation revealed apparent drug violations at the scene. Approximately 1.5 grams of methamphetamine were recovered from a small purse located on the property and it was discovered the parcel reportedly owned by Mr. Lee had a large number of marijuana plants on an illicit cultivation site nearby.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office said on October 17th, the Siskiyou Interagency Marijuana Enforcement Team (SIMIT) served a search warrant on the premises and recovered approximately 99 illegal cannabis plants that were being cultivated on the property.

The Sheriff's Office also said the Major Crimes Unit served another search warrant on the same day. This was to enable a more thorough search of the trailer and vehicles on the parcel to determine if additional evidence could be obtained to aid in the investigation, including property owned by the decedent.

The Sheriff's Office said an autopsy has been conducted and it was determined that the decedent died of a gunshot wound but due to the suspicious nature of her death, the manner of death has been classified as “undetermined” at this time. A toxicology test was also administered but the results have not returned from the laboratory.

Sheriffs said the decedent was identified as Elizabeth Mae Novak, 18, with a permanent address of Bemidji, Minnesota. The Sheriff's Office said it is anticipated that Mr. Lee will be charged with additional drug-related charges based on the illegal cannabis plants recovered on his property.

“This is a tragic case that resulted in the senseless death of a young adult. We cannot determine the manner of death until the investigation is completed, which could take several weeks. On behalf of the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, I would like to offer our thoughts and prayers to the decedent, her family, friends, and associates. We still have work to do on this case and anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact the SCSO’s 24 hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900,” said Sheriff Jon Lopey

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313161

Reported Deaths: 3594
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah51245642
Washington34995276
Marion32577393
Clackamas26570271
Lane23989246
Jackson20977257
Deschutes16623102
Umatilla12602125
Douglas10712188
Linn1046886
Josephine8659165
Yamhill744999
Klamath643491
Polk623570
Malheur479467
Benton461927
Coos412069
Columbia324237
Jefferson313746
Lincoln276330
Union272737
Wasco239039
Crook212338
Clatsop211725
Tillamook181523
Baker174421
Morrow167921
Curry166817
Hood River163035
Harney78916
Grant7558
Lake6768
Wallowa50811
Gilliam1374
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4644566

Reported Deaths: 68019
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144512125852
Riverside3579884804
San Diego3495814009
San Bernardino3472035506
Orange3146225354
Sacramento1503072089
Santa Clara1405641841
Fresno1358611888
Kern1358421515
Alameda1162141329
Ventura976901120
San Joaquin973871615
Contra Costa95727924
Stanislaus806991234
Tulare72969896
San Mateo52239607
San Francisco51907605
Monterey49465565
Solano44151312
Santa Barbara43112500
Sonoma39441378
Merced39370535
Placer36487364
Imperial34261755
Kings30124284
San Luis Obispo28300313
Madera21707258
Butte21307230
Shasta20683276
Santa Cruz20151211
Yolo19143239
Marin17106242
El Dorado16004127
Sutter13094153
Napa1226895
Yuba926061
Nevada847685
Humboldt829587
Tehama823784
San Benito709067
Mendocino685575
Lassen637627
Tuolumne615393
Lake603687
Amador492259
Glenn398030
Siskiyou389541
Calaveras342266
Del Norte336034
Colusa290918
Inyo166539
Mono14935
Plumas12406
Mariposa99712
Trinity72010
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1650
Alpine1000
Out of CA00
Medford
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 62°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 61°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 62°
Grants Pass
Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 62°
Klamath Falls
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 48°
Cooler temperatures and thin haze return on the first day of fall
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events