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OR- Firefighter accused of sexual abuse found dead

12-28-2005 Oregon:

A Sutherlin man arrested last week on charges he sexually abused some boys was found dead Saturday afternoon in a Grants Pass motel room.

The body of Michael Shane Shipley, 35, was discovered after employees at the motel called police after becoming worried because they hadn’t seen Shipley in two days. Police officers entered the room at about 12:30 p.m. and found Shipley dead of an apparent suicide, said Detective Dave Daniel of the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety.

Shipley, a firefighter and paramedic who had spent the past five years with the North Douglas County Fire & EMS in Drain, was arrested Tuesday on two counts of third-degree sex abuse. He was taken to the Douglas County Jail in Roseburg, where he was cited and released.

Shipley had once served as chief of the Fair Oaks Rural Fire District east of Sutherlin. He also spent six years as a paramedic with Douglas County Search and Rescue and had worked at the Sutherlin and Winston-Dillard fire departments.

Police in Grants Pass did not say how Shipley died. An autopsy will be conducted by the Josephine County Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death.

Sgt. Darin Lux of the Oregon State Police, the lead investigator in the criminal case against Shipley, said this morning he wasn’t sure how he would proceed. If other victims say they were abused by Shipley, it would be good to identify them so they could receive counseling.

However, he said he doesn’t want to put anyone through further trauma for a case that will no longer go forward.

“I’m weighing the pros and cons on continuing the investigation,” Lux said. “I’m not sure what I’m going to do.” ..Source.. by John Sowell

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