Myrtle Creek Police Believe There May Be More Victims

Myrtle Creek Police Department

On the evening of January 26, 2022, the Myrtle Creek Police Department became aware of a case involving sex crimes to a juvenile female.  During the investigation the suspect was identified as 78-year-old Michael Wetherbee of Myrtle Creek.  

On Saturday, January 29, 2022 at about 12:00 PM, Wetherbee was contacted on a traffic stop by Myrtle Creek police and deputies from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.  Wetherbee was taken into custody without incident.  

Officers responded to an apartment complex in the 700 block of NE Johnson Street to serve a search warrant on Wetherbee’s residence.  During the investigation it was found that Wetherbee had what appeared to be two hand grenades hanging on his living room wall. Oregon State Police Bomb Squad responded and assisted with the removal of two inert grenades from the residence.  

After evidence was collected police interviewed Wetherbee, who admitted to sexually abusing the juvenile female, as well as taking nude photos of her and another juvenile female.  Both juveniles were known to Wetherbee. 

Wetherbee was transported to the Douglas County Jail and lodged on charges of First Degree Rape, First Degree Sodomy, First Degree Sex Abuse, and two counts of Second Degree Encouraging Child Sex Abuse.  

MCPD is releasing Wetherbee’s booking photo, as we have strong reason to believe that there are other victims out there.  If anyone has a child that has had contact with Wetherbee we ask that you contact Detective Kevin Taggart immediately at 541-440-4471.

The investigation is ongoing and no other information will be released at this time.

The Myrtle Creek Police Department would like to thank the OSP Bomb Squad and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in this case.