Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Tue, July 17 2012 at 4:20 PM, Updated: Tue, July 17 2012 at 4:32 PM
Deputies in Lakeview are digging through the facts surrounding the disappearance and death of a 47 year old woman found in the back of her husband's trailer.
Valerie Watts was reported as missing on June 25th.
The community of Lakeview is in shock following the murder of Valerie Watts. Lake County Sheriff Phil McDonald reports that her body was found on Wednesday of last week...
"We ended up locating her husband, camped at a remote campsite about 25 miles northwest of here." McDonald notes that a utility trailer was found at that campsite. "A search warrant was written - when we searched the utility trailer, we located a body in the utility trailer."
55 year old husband Martin Brown was arrested for a probation violation July 9th, two days before the search warrant was served. Brown was then taken to the Lake County Jail, but Sheriff McDonald notes that Brown hasn't been charged with the murder...
"Her current husband Martin Brown is in custody, he's in custody on an unrelated matter. He is a person of interest in the death of Valerie Watts."
An autopsy was conducted Saturday, and McDonald says that Valerie Watts' identity was confirmed. "We're withholding the manner of death just while we continue and finish the investigation."
That investigation is being conducted by the Lake County Major Crimes Team.
Valerie Watts' former husband Warren Watts chose not to be on camera, but when asked what kind of person Valerie was, he stated that she was 'an all around good person who loved everybody, particularly her kids - Melissa, Jonathon, Taylor, and her grandbaby, Cadence.'
Lakeview's last murder happened five years ago, in February of 2007. 49 year old Mark Thomas was stabbed to death at a Lakeview motel. 41 year old James Edwards of Susanville was later convicted of that murder.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.