Missing Camas man’s body found, arrest made

Michael Chad Holmes had been missing since early February

CAMAS — The case of a missing 52-year-old Camas man has come to a sad conclusion. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Tuesday that a body recovered from the Washougal River at Hathaway Park appears to be that of Michael Chad Holmes. Investigators say Holmes had an apparent traumatic injury to his head.

A vehicle linked to the disappearance and apparent murder of a Camas man is pulled from the Lewis River in early March. Photo by Mike Schultz
A vehicle linked to the disappearance and apparent murder of a Camas man is pulled from the Lewis River in early March. Photo by Mike Schultz

Holmes vanished February 5 after his daughter says he got into a tan-colored GMC Yukon driven by a neighbor. The unnamed associate returned two hours later, Heather Holmes said on Facebook, and said her dad had jumped out of the vehicle.

Michael Chad Holmes went missing February 5. His body was recovered in Washougal this past weekend. Facebook photo
Michael Chad Holmes went missing February 5. His body was recovered in Washougal this past weekend. Facebook photo

“That same associate wanted me to believe him and say out loud that i believed his story and i understood chad was no longer with him,” Holmes wrote, “and he was there as a nice thing to do because he felt responsible to bring my dad back home.”

Holmes says the associate’s story later changed, and he claimed her dad got out of the vehicle at Blair Road and Reilly Road, near Fern Prairie.

The GMC Yukon was recovered in early March from the East Fork of the Lewis River just south of Paradise Point State Park. The Major Crimes Team says trace evidence at the scene led them to believe it was the same SUV that Holmes had left in.

Clark County Fire and Rescue searches the East Fork Lewis River in early March after a vehicle was recovered. Photo by Mike Schultz
Clark County Fire and Rescue searches the East Fork Lewis River in early March after a vehicle was recovered. Photo by Mike Schultz

Tuesday morning, Clark County Regional SWAT arrested 47-year old Randy John Schmidt and served a search warrant at his Camas residence. Schmidt was booked on a charge of 2nd-degree murder.

Members of the Clark County Major Crimes team investigate a vehicle recovered from the Lewis River, linked to the disappearance of a Camas man. Photo by Mike Schultz
Members of the Clark County Major Crimes team investigate a vehicle recovered from the Lewis River, linked to the disappearance of a Camas man. Photo by Mike Schultz

The Clark County Major Crimes team is still investigating and expects to release more details about the case sometime this week.

 

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About The Author

Chris Brown comes to Clark County Today with 15 years of local news experience as a reporter, editor, and anchor at KXL News Radio and KOIN-6 TV in Portland. In 2016, he won an Oregon Association of Broadcaster's award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series on America's Violent Youth. He has also been awarded by the Associated Press for Best Breaking News coverage as editor of Portland's Morning News following the 2015 school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The second oldest of eight home-schooled children, Brown graduated from high school two years early. After several odd jobs, he earned an internship at KXL Radio, eventually working his way into a full-time job. Brown has lived in Clark County his entire life, and is very excited at the opportunity to now focus full-time on the significant stories happening in his own back yard, rather than across “the river.’’ After a few years in Vancouver, he recently moved back to Battle Ground with his wife and two young daughters. When he's not working to report what's happening in Clark County, Brown enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, taking pictures, or working in the yard. He also actually does enjoy long walks on the beach, and sunsets.

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