Police release the names of Cheney kidnapping suspects

KREM 2's Lindsay Nadrich spoke with the victim's friends and family who are praying for Smith's safe return.

CHENEY, Wash. — Cheney Police have released the names of the suspects involved in the Sunday kidnapping of a marijuana shop employee in Cheney. 
 
The man is Donavon Culps. The woman is his niece, 18-year-old Violetta Culps.
 
Police said Cameron Smith, an employee at Lucid marijuana shop, was shot at while sitting in his car in the parking lot.  Reports show one of the suspects then got into Smith’s car and took off with him inside.

No one has heard from or seen Smith since.  His friends and family are shocked and concerned, praying for his safe return.
 
 
"I'm extremely worried about his well-being and I hope that we can find him or that he is okay," said Smith’s friend Martin Podoll.

Cheney Police Department Captain Rick Beghtol is now investigating and believes the attack was random.

"I do not think they had any connection prior to this,” Beghtol explained.  “I do not think they had any interaction to speak of prior to this and I think it was a random act." 
 
Surveillance video from the marijuana shop caught the suspects on camera.  Cheney Police believe they now know the name of the man involved, but have not made any arrests. 
 
Police said two women, likely in their teens, were also involved, but only one was caught on surveillance.  The suspects are believed to be from Yakima, so law enforcement from Spokane to Yakima have been notified to be on the lookout. 
 


 

Cheney Police have also contacted the FBI and U.S. Marshal Service to help in the investigation.
 
"Yakima Tribal PD has been a huge help to us and they know these people very well, and they know where they hang out, so they are following up on it and they are giving us updates as it goes,” Beghtol said.
 
As police investigate, Smith’s brother, Dennis Turner who owns Lucid, said they are trying to stay positive. 
 
“We love Cam. We're praying for a safe return of one of our family members where he needs to be, with us,” Turner said.
 
Those who know Smith describe him as a great guy.
 
“He's a really friendly, really straight up guy, a guy that you can trust to talk to,” Podoll said. “He's really just an awesome person. He's friendly to everybody.”
 
A public vigil for Smith is scheduled for Monday night at 7 p.m. outside Lucid.
 

 

© 2017 KREM-TV


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