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Franklin County Sheriff’s Investigate death in Mesa

By: C&K Trowbridge

At 11:22 am. Wednesday, Sept. 27, a male was found dead in a camper, in the town of Mesa, after a friend checked on him due to his poor health. According to a press release by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office (FSCO), Franklin County Sheriff’s Office deputies and detectives are conducting a death investigation on the vacant lot across 1st Ave from the Mesa Post Office.

As the Franklin County Graphic was delivering newspapers to the Mesa Post Office, the events occurred. The first person to find the body was a young friend, named Jose, who then went to the nearby JC Mesa Grocery store to charge his phone in order to place a call. In the meantime, JC’s owner called 911, reporting a potential deceased male located in a camp trailer on the vacant lot between 104 and 106 1st Ave.

Laurie Mandler, a Mesa postal worker, and also an EMT, received the EMT alert. She saw the distraught young man, asked a few questions, checked the camper, and recognized the person deceased as “a man named Robert.” She stated that she was concerned because she normally had seen him on a regular basis but had not seen him for a couple days. She said that, “It was well known, locally, that he had been living there in the Quonset hut and trailer on Harrington property as a squatter for months and months after eviction from the house next door.” She thought that he may have been dead for at least a day because he had not been checked on for a while.

FCSO arrived, secured the area, and then, the local ambulance and several EMT personnel arrived, confirming the death. Sheriff detective(s) arrived shortly thereafter to conduct an investigation of the scene. The FCSO questioned Jose and potential witnesses including Mandler at the Post Office and the owner of Mesa Crossroads Service Station across the street.

At 12:20 pm, Jose was temporarily handcuffed and placed in an FCSO vehicle. After an initial investigation was done by Sheriff’s detectives, he was later released.

The Franklin County Coroner released the name of the deceased on Thursday, Sept. 28 following notification of next of kin, as 53 year old, Robert Chervenell. FCSO shared that an autopsy would be performed on Friday, Sept. 29.

Chervenell is the brother of Chiloe Chervenell who was convicted and is currently serving time for the murder of Kathy Chervenell-Brinson at a home also located on 1st Ave. in Mesa. That murder took place in August of 2022.

Two persons of interest have been interviewed in relation to this week’s FCSO investigation which the press release stated, “remains ongoing.” At the time of the ( Sept. 28) press release, no arrests had been made.

FSCO shared, “Detectives are still in the early stages of the investigation, and few details are available for release at this time.”

If you have any additional information to this case you are asked to call Detective Sergeant Warren at (509) 625-0333.

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