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Police Department News

Posted on: July 13, 2020

Man Wanted on Homicide Charge Commits Suicide as Officers Approach

On July 12, the Idaho Falls Police Department was notified by an out of state law enforcement agency that a wanted man from a homicide investigation in their jurisdiction may be in the Idaho Falls area. Officers located the suspect,

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The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office of California has publicly confirmed the identity of this man. Their release and (from my understanding) the entirety of what they have released thus far about their homicide investigation is available here: https://www.riversidesheriff.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1356

The deceased suspect is identified as Lawson Blanchette, a 61-year-old resident of San Jacinto, California.

The victim in the homicide investigation has been identified as Marie Hannah, a 47-year-old woman, also of San Jacinto, California.

The Idaho Falls Police Department would like to express our sincere condolences to Ms. Hannah’s loved ones at this difficult time. We would also like to thank the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office for notifying our department that a wanted and potentially dangerous suspect was in our area.

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On July 12, 2020, the Idaho Falls Police Department was notified by an out of state law enforcement agency that a suspect from a homicide investigation in their jurisdiction may be in the Idaho Falls area. Idaho Falls Police Officers began a search for the man, who had an extraditable Felony Homicide Warrant for his arrest.

At approximately 4:30 p.m., an Idaho Falls Police Officer located the suspect vehicle in the area of 575 River Parkway which was unoccupied at the time. Additional officers responded to the area and were able to locate the suspect in the area near his vehicle.

Officers made efforts to contain the suspect in order to safely take him into custody without alerting him to their presence. When the suspect returned to his vehicle officers moved in to make contact with him. The suspect saw the officers approaching and took his own life with a firearm inside the vehicle.

After hearing the gunshot, Idaho Falls Police Officers attempted to communicate with the suspect, not knowing for certain that he was deceased, and called for EMS from the Idaho Falls Fire Department to respond. Officers approached the driver’s side window and were able to confirm that the suspect was deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Idaho Falls Police Officers and Idaho State Police Troopers created a roadblock around the immediate area in order to safely document the scene. The roadway was blocked until approximately 8:30 p.m. A handgun and a spent shell casing were found inside in the vehicle.

No Idaho Falls Police Officers discharged their service weapons at any time during the incident.

The out of state law enforcement agency handling the homicide investigation is working to make notifications to both the suspect’s family and to the homicide victim’s family. When those notifications have been made, additional information is expected to be released.

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