At around midnight on June 9, 2016, Washington State Patrol (WSP) Trooper Brittany Crosby heard a call on the radio from the Olympia Police Department, asking law enforcement for assistance locating a homicide suspect. Instead of heading home at the end of her shift, Trooper Crosby requested approval to extend her shift to assist in the investigation.
The suspect in question was 66-year-old James E. Stidd, a convicted felon who police believed had ties to the disappearance of Lacey grandmother Gail Doyle. Doyle was last seen on June 2nd during an argument with Stidd at a local bar. According to Olympia Police, Stidd claims he and Doyle continued to argue as they drove away from the tavern and that she eventually asked to get out of the car. He said he let her out on Martin Way in the area of the Azteca Bowling Lanes and he didn’t see her again.
As the Olympia Police and Thurston County Sheriffs Office searched Stidd’s home, Trooper Crosby was out on the streets looking for any signs of Stidd or Doyle.
A short time later, Trooper Crosby located the vehicle on I-90 near milepost 206. She requested support from additional units before approaching the suspect. As the vehicle entered the Schrag rest area, Trooper Crosby and an Adams County Deputy took Stidd into custody without incident.
He was booked into Adams County and the vehicle was impounded to Adams County’s secure facility for later retrieval by Thurston County Detectives. Stidd has since been booked on a second-degree murder charge.
According to Thurston County Sergeant Carla Carter, Doyle still hasn’t been found, but law enforcement officers are searching for her in multiple sites outside of Thurston County. Carter said evidence collected at Stidd’s home on Wednesday “strongly connects” him to her disappearance. After finding some evidence, they turned the scene over to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office because the home is in an unincorporated portion of the county which is under their jurisdiction.
The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office says they are “very thankful and send their deepest gratitude” for Trooper Crosby’s work. Additionally, WSP Sergeant Matt Fehler says, “without Trooper Crosby’s initiative the victim’s family may not have seen any justice for this suspect. She knew her beat, worked well coordinating with the allied agencies and successfully apprehended this wanted subject.”
Chief Batiste stated, “I am always proud of the work the women and men of the WSP perform. They are dedicated and passionate about keeping our citizens safe. I appreciate Trooper Crosby going above and beyond to assist our law enforcement partners and her response to this potentially dangerous situation.”
*Photo courtesy of Tony Overman, the Olympian