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From the Boundary County cold case files

 
December 24, 2022

Jacob Mutter
It was 16-below at 1:16 a.m. Thursday, December 22, when Boundary County Sheriff's Deputy David Wion spotted the black 2022 Toyota Corolla stuck in the ditch off Highway 2 at Bench Road. Had he been looking for a cold case, he'd have been far better served to have driven to Nom Nom or Super 1. But Wion is a sheriff's deputy. He wasn't looking for a case. The case found him. And it was cold.

"I saw a black, 2022 Toyota Corolla, bearing Washington registration," Wion wrote in his report, "resting in several feel of snow due to what appeared to be a slide off The temperature outside was approximately -16*F and the road surface was slick. I parked my patrol vehicle behind the Toyota, not blocking it from leaving and shielding it from traffic."

He then approached the vehicle and made contact with the driver. A man he knew. A man he and many other county peace officers in the region knew; Jacob Billy Joseph Mutter, 29, Moyie Springs, a man who persists working in a career field for which he is obviously wholly unqualified.

Since his first conviction as a juvenile in 2004 for malicious injury to property, Mutter has amassed an additional seven juvenile complaints and 18 criminal complaints as an adult; burglary, theft, drug and multiple others. He has five felony drug convictions on his record just since 2015, and is currently on felony probation.

While speaking to Wion, Mutter appeared nervous, more so than usual. That Mutter was driving a rental car, a common ploy for those transporting illicit substances, further heightened Wion's suspicions. Telling him to arrange a tow as the stuck Corolla was a traffic hazard, Wion returned to his patrol rig and requested backup and a K-9.

Sheriff's dispatcher Lynda Ekstrom sent Bonners Ferry Police Officer Scott Davis in to assist.

Crystal Giles
With backup on scene, Wion began searching the rental, and he quickly found perturbing evidence in the back seat ... a woman's purse, her wallet. An ID card belonging to Crystal Renee Giles, 31, Moyie Springs. A prescription in her name.

But where was she?

The question was answered when he opened the trunk, where she was hiding under a blanket amongst several children's toys and bags of women's clothing. She was transferred to a warmer spot in the backseat of Davis's patrol vehicle while the vehicle search continued.

Inside a box of Malt O Meal Peanut Butter Cups Wion found a magnetic storage box containing alleged paraphernalia and methamphetamines, Q-tips, marijuana and 14 fentanyl "Mexi pills."

Both Mutter and Giles, who had two active arrest warrants, were taken into custody, both charged with two felony counts of possession of a controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana, both enhanced for prior convictions.

Both Mutter and Giles are scheduled to appear for preliminary hearing before Judge Justin Julian at 1:30 p.m. Friday, December 30.

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Mike Weland, Publisher
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