Suspect charged in death of 6 week old boy returned to Klamath County

Klamath Falls, Ore. – A man wanted in connection with the death of a six week old boy has been returned from Alaska to face charges in Klamath County.

Douglas Dale Johnston appeared before a judge Monday afternoon to face multiple charges including manslaughter.

Investigators say Johnston and Ashley Grace Irwin failed to provide adequate food, care, and medical attention to their six week old baby.

“After that investigation, it was determined that there was at least criminal negligence.”  Notes Klamath County District Attorney Eve Costello.  “If not reckless behavior on the part of the parents that resulted in the death of this child.”

State Police tracked Irwin to Baker City, Oregon where she was arrested in April.

Johnston traveled to Shell Lake, Alaska, where he was living with minimal supplies.

Jon Shivel of nearby Skwentna, Alaska says neighbors were suspicious.  “And when we looked him up on Google, we found out that he was wanted out of Oregon.”

State Police from Alaska and Oregon were notified.

“A neighbor of mine supplied snow machines to the troopers, and they went and surrounded his camp.”  Explains Shivel.  “And took him in without incident.”

Johnston was returned to Oregon, and booked at the Klamath County Jail Saturday.

The D.A. says it’s unclear if Irwin and Johnston will be tried together, or separately.

“They will receive court appointed counsel, obviously.”  D.A Costello notes.  “And then depending on what the defense does, we anticipate going to trial.”

Shivel says he’s glad he was able to help.  “We didn’t want somebody like that in our community.”

Johnston and Irwin both face multiple counts of criminal mistreatment for failing to care for Irwin’s 4 other children.

Those children have since been placed in protective custody.

Both Johnston and Irwin have pleaded ‘not guilty’ to all charges.

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