82C03711 Arrest Made In Connection With 1982 Disappearance of Cashmere Resident

Posted By: Sheriff's Office on March 04, 2017

Sheriff Burnett reports on March 5, 2017 Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Detectives made a second arrest related to the 1982 disappearance of Stephen Smith.  Sheriff’s Detectives arrested Dawn M. Soles, a 57 year old Leavenworth resident, for 1st degree Murder.

Prior to the July, 1982 disappearance of Mr. Smith, Ms. Soles and Mr. Smith were married.  During their marriage they had a child.  Ms. Soles and Mr. Smith ultimately divorced prior to Mr. Smith’s disappearance.  As a part of their divorce Mr. Smith was granted full custody and Ms. Soles was granted supervised visitation only.  Ms. Soles later married Bernard Swaim and they moved to Western Washington.  On or just before July 12, 1982 Ms. Soles and Mr. Swaim traveled from Western Washington to Cashmere with a plan and intent to murder Mr. Smith.  The investigation showed Ms. Soles and Mr. Swaim planned to get Mr. Smith intoxicated to the point he passed out, and then Mr. Swaim would murder Mr. Smith.

Utilizing old investigative interviews, creating additional leads, and conducting new interviews the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Detectives were able to piece together critical evidence to establish probable cause to arrest Bernard Swaim and Dawn Soles for the 1982 murder of Mr. Smith.

The Detectives are still conducting follow up interviews and trying to gather more information related the details of Mr. Smith’s disappearance and locating his remains. 


Sheriff Brian Burnett reports on March 3, 2017 detectives arrested 60 year old Bernard Swaim in connection with the 1982 disappearance of Cashmere resident Stephen E. Smith.  Bernard Swaim is currently a resident of Sultan, Washington.  Mr. Swaim was charged with First Degree Murder.

On July 18, 1982 30 year old Cashmere resident Stephen E. Smith was reported as a missing person by family members.  Mr. Smith was last seen at his home on or about July 12, 1982.  Mr. Smith’s car, a 1966 Pontiac Tempest was found abandoned several days after the report of his disappearance, on Dead Man’s Hill road near Dryden, in Chelan County.  The initial investigation concluded in 1982 and Mr. Smith has never been located.

In late 2016 Mr. Smith’s disappearance was assigned to detectives for further investigation.  Through interviews with multiple people including Mr. Smith’s family members and witnesses, detectives identified Bernard Swaim as a person of interest in Mr. Smith’s disappearance.

If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Stephen E. Smith please call the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office at 509-667-6842 and leave your contact information and a detective will return your call.  You can also go online to our web page, http://www.co.chelan.wa.us/sheriff and use the submit a crime tip tab or message us on Facebook.

An updated media release will be sent out no later than 4 pm on Monday March 6, 2017.