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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday, April 21, 2004


Walking partners win reward for missing gun

Searchers produce pistol
for shooting investigation

Express Staff Writer

Searchers last week found a handgun believed to have been used in a double attempted murder case in Bellevue. The disassembled 9 mm pistol was strewn in a sagebrush field adjacent to the north end of Gannett Road.

David L. Santistevan, 46, has been charged with the shootings of two Bellevue teenagers during an argument in an alley three weeks ago.

Bellevue walking partners Vicki Brander, right, and Dot MacIntire, and Roz the dog, discovered clues in this field off the railroad right-of-way on the southern edge of Bellevue that led police to a handgun believed to have been used in a double attempted murder case. Express photo by Willy Cook

Marshall Hooten, 19, remains in critical condition at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. Tyrel Peak, 15, was released from the hospital two weeks ago and testified at a preliminary hearing in Magistrate Court last week. At that hearing Santistevan was bound over for trial in 5th District Court in Hailey on two counts of attempted murder. He is being held in Blaine County Jail on a $1 million bond.

In the course of the ongoing investigation, police have been looking for the weapon used in the shooting. Police had found several spent rounds fired from a 9 mm handgun, one of which they said was found on the hood of Santistevan’s car.

Police had asked the public to keep an eye out for the handgun since the initial investigation into the shootings did not produce a weapon.

The pistol was found Thursday in several pieces--handle, barrel, magazine, slide and frame--spread along a quarter-mile stretch of the old railroad right-of-way, which runs parallel to Gannett Road. Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling said the initials DLS are engraved on the frame of the gun, and the serial number matches a gun that was found in Santistevan’s possession after he was arrested for a DUI New Year’s Day.

Femling said the weapon was sent to a forensics lab in Coeur d’Alene.

The search area for the gun was pinpointed after Bellevue walking partners Vicki Brander and Dot MacIntire reported finding two live rounds and a backpack on the right of way during their regular morning workout.

"We found the backpack two weeks ago on Saturday, and we thought it might be useful," Brander said. "It (had) just sat on the porch."

Brander said she and MacIntire did not connect the backpack to the crime until after they found the two bullets on the path April 12.

"Then the paper came out on Wednesday and a friend said (we should) take the bullets to the police," she said.

Bellevue Marshall Randy Tremble inspected the backpack and said he found the name David Santistevan written inside. A search of the area where the items were found was initiated the evening of Wednesday, April 14. The search included the two teenagers’ fathersl, Gary Peak and Brian Heywood. The weapon was found the next day when law enforcement officers from neighboring cities, Idaho State Police and search and rescue personnel joined the effort.

"We spent most of the day searching where the backpack was found," Femling said.

The gun parts and a number of live rounds were partially obscured by sagebrush and partially buried in the sand, Femling said. Ketchum patrol officer Adam Johnson found the barrel of the gun, which was almost completely buried.

A $500 dollar reward offered by the Bellevue Marshall’s office will be given to Brander and MacIntire for coming forward with the clues that led to the gun.

"They did a really good job," Tremble said.

Santistevan is scheduled for arraignment in 5th District Court in Hailey on Monday, April 26 .


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