VANDALISM? CORRUPTION? HAVE NO WHERE ELSE TO TURN? NO STORY TOO BIG OR SMALL THE OSN WILL INVESTIGATE! Please email news tips to Hildelysiak@gmail.com
By Hilde Kate Lysiak
EXCLUSIVE: The OSN has learned that Patagonia stabbing suspect Charles Van Nest had kidnapped a woman at gun point twenty years ago — only to be let back into the community after one year in jail.
Van Nest was charged with “Kidnapping” and “Attempted Second Degree Murder,” and more after a May 10, 1998 incident where police say Van Nest kidnapped his girl friend and held her at gun point. (SCROLL DOWN TO SEE DOCUMENTS)
Van Nest, whose mother works for the town and who has relatives in law enforcement, admitted to the crimes, pleading guilty to “Attempting Kidnapping with a Deadly Weapon,” and was out walking the streets only one year later.
Van Nest allegedly struck again on October 4, this time stabbing his girlfriend multiple times in the neck before fleeing the scene. The victim’s daughter heroically called 9-1-1, saving her mother’s life.
The Orange Street News has received the name of the victim, but is withholding from publishing. Sources told the OSN that the victim was in critical condition, but is expected to survive.
Irregular in the case have raised questions over potential conflicts.
The Patagonia Marshal office refused to release the name of the suspect or Van Nest’s picture to the public, leaving Van Nest roaming around the community for five days — with the community in fear –– before he was finally apprehended at an abandoned trailer.
It would be forty eight hours after the alleged crime before a picture of the suspect would be given to media — and it came not from the Patagonia Marshal’s office — but from the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s office, who wasn’t even lead on the case. During the first two days the Marshal’s office refused to identify the suspect — despite a witness of the crime — or release a picture to the community, giving the suspect a valuable head-start.
Meanwhile, information obtained by the OSN shows a potential conflict of interest with Marshal Joseph Patterson, the lead investigator in the crime, who has come under fire for withholding important information that could have helped apprehend the suspect — even hanging up the phone on a reporter at the Nogales International.
The OSN has obtained the Arizona New Hiring Form which lists the suspect’s mother as the contact name for the Town of Patagonia upon Marshal Joseph Patterson’s hiring. This isn’t a unusual in itself — his mother is a long-time worker for the town.
The OSN was able to confirm the suspect’s identity to the community without the help of law enforcement.
The Patagonia Marshal’s office, which is the lead agency investigating the crime, had refused repeated requests for comment or to release a picture of the suspect to the media.
When the OSN entered the Patagonia Marshal’s office on Saturday morning hours after the stabbing they would only confirm that there was an incident but falsely warned the OSN that publishing the story would be “illegal” because it was a “medical call.”