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Sheriff: Suspect used explosives to destroy body after killing man

KPTV

By KPTV Staff

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    COWLITZ COUNTY, Washington (KPTV) — Detectives have arrested a man who shot and killed another man, then used explosives to destroy victim’s body, according to the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation began on July 30 when detectives executed a search warrant at a property in the 2100 block of Holcomb Road after receiving information that a body was on the property.

According to the sheriff’s office, detectives found the remains of a man scattered in and around a truck on the property. The man’s body and truck had been heavily damaged by an apparent explosion.

The victim was identified as 51-year-old Alan Brice Nielsen, of Kelso. During the investigation, the sheriff’s office said detectives learned Nielsen had been shot during a dispute on July 15. Detectives were able to identify the suspect as 52-year-old Jethro Nichols Welter.

On July 31, detectives served a search warrant at Welter’s home in Kelso and found multiple firearms, including one stolen firearm, suspected methamphetamine, and other evidence.

The sheriff’s office said digital forensics investigation showed Welter was at the scene of the murder when it happened. Detectives were also able to locate records confirming Welter had purchased a total of 60 pounds of exploding target material at a local business between July 17 and July 19, according to the sheriff’s office.

Welter is reportedly prohibited from possessing firearms based on a previous conviction.

Welters was arrested on Thursday and booked into the Cowlitz County Jail for first-degree murder, ten counts of second-degree unlawful possession of firearms, possessing a stolen firearm, explosive devices – prohibited, possession of controlled substance with intent to deliver – meth, unlawful disposal of human remains, and tampering with physical evidence.

The investigation is ongoing, and no additional details are being released at this time.

Anyone with information about the investigation is asked to contact Detective Troy Lee at 360-577-3092.

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