Law enforcement officials asking for public’s help in Nov. 22 homicide case in Woodland

WOODLAND — Personnel from the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office and the Woodland Police Department are asking for the public’s help to continue their investigation in a Nov. 22 homicide in Woodland at 2145 Dahlia St.

According to information from the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office, Donald “Donny” W. Howard, 62, was murdered on Nov. 22. Howard was known to frequently fish on the Lewis River near the hatchery. He would go there very early in the morning and was known to sell his homemade lead fishing weights. He would often pick up cans and trash on the river and alongside the road as well.

Law enforcement officials asking for public’s help in Nov. 22 homicide case in Woodland
This was the scene outside the home of Donald “Donny” W. Howard, 62, on Nov. 22 after Howard was discovered deceased inside. Detectives are asking for the public’s help in providing any information they might have about the incident. Photo by Mike Schultz
Law enforcement officials asking for public’s help in Nov. 22 homicide case in Woodland
Click image to view. The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office released this flier recently in order to encourage anyone who may have had contact with Donald “Donny” W. Howard between Nov. 19 and early Nov. 22. Flier courtesy of Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office

Howard usually drove a dark-colored Ford Ranger pickup truck that had a canopy. Howard was five-foot, six-inches tall and weighed 300 pounds.

The case of Howard’s murder remains very active. Several detectives from both the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office and the Woodland Police Department continue to work on leads on the case, conduct interviews and process evidence. While detectives have declined to be specific, they have said they are encouraged with some of the initial results that they have received from the crime lab.

“We often get asked if we have a ‘suspect(s)’ or a ‘person(s) of interest,’” stated the information released by the sheriff’s office. “These terms and labels have often times led to misunderstandings in other cases, so rather than use terms that could misinform the public, we are simply stating that we are actively following up leads and contacting people who have information on the case. We will remind open minded about motives of this crime and we will take the investigation where the evidence and facts lead us.”

Anyone who may have had contact with Howard between Sat., Nov. 19 and early Tue., Nov. 22 is asked to call the sheriff’s office and leave a message for Sgt. Brad Thurman at (360) 577-3092. Anyone with information can also remain anonymous by using a Smartphone and texting a tip using the “TIP411” app on their phone, and make it attention to the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office. You can also send the tip directly to the sheriff’s office without the app by sending a text to 847411 and listing “CCSOTIP” in the subject line.

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About The Author

Joanna Nicole Yorke is a 2010 graduate of the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in political science. Yorke is a Clark County native, growing up on her family's 12-acre farm in La Center where her family still resides today. She was previously a reporter at The Reflector Newspaper, covering the city of Battle Ground, the Battle Ground School District and a variety of other areas and topics.

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