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Suspect in Washington shooting incident still missing

Jeffrey Joseph Caldwell in a 2012 mugshot

There has been no sign of a Vallejo man suspected of stealing three vehicles and firing a gun repeatedly in the little town of Washington Sept. 27, despite multiple searches.

A BOLO had been issued last week for Jeffrey Joseph Caldwell, 28, who was being considered armed and dangerous. Caldwell now has been placed in the national missing persons database, said California Highway Patrol spokesman Greg Tassone.

“His family members are very distraught,” Tassone said, adding that many of them have been searching for Caldwell with the assistance of law enforcement personnel and Washington residents.



On Saturday, some local children who had been shooting pellet guns by the river reported hearing someone possibly calling for help, and an exhaustive ground and air search was launched.

“Family members were hiking in the area, and they were calling out his name,” Tassone said. “That’s what the kids heard.”




During that search, a white T-shirt was found, but it did not appear to belong to Caldwell, Tassone added.

Caldwell reportedly stole a red sedan after some sort of domestic dispute in Vallejo on Sept. 26.

At about 10 a.m. the next day, he was driving eastbound on Highway 20 and reportedly ran through several Caltrans closures, almost hitting a truck and a flagger.

Caldwell ran off the road and then drove down Washington Road into the town at a very high speed, passing over the double yellow lines.

At a little before 11 a.m., Caldwell reportedly found a Dodge Durango in Washington with the keys in the ignition, whose occupants had just exited the vehicle. He allegedly got into the vehicle, brandished his gun at the victims and fired several shots in the air, then drove down Maybert Road past two barricades.

A man walking on the road shouted at Caldwell to slow down, and he allegedly responded by firing more shots out the window. He crashed the Durango about a half-mile in, and fled on foot.

At some point, Caldwell allegedly broke into the garage of a residence and stole an ATV, crashing it through the garage door. He lost control and crashed the ATV, then fled on foot again.

He was not located despite an extensive search using a helicopter and a K-9.

“We have no solid leads, we’ve had no substantiated reports of sightings,” Tassone said, adding that Nevada County Sheriff’s deputies have helped search the area, including nearby cabins. “We haven’t seen any sign of his presence.

“It’s not looking favorable, given the cold temperatures and the remoteness of the area,” Tassone continued. “Everything’s been searched more than once. We’ve been very thorough.”

Caldwell is described as being 6 feet tall and weighing 290 pounds. He is clean-shaven, with short brown hair and a darker complexion, and was last seen wearing a white shirt. He also reportedly is severely wall-eyed.

“If you see him, don’t approach him, call 911,” said Tassone, who added that Caldwell possibly has drug and mental health issues.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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