Port Ludlow residents upset over mysterious tree slashings

PORT LUDLOW — Neighbors and Ludlow Maintenance Commission Greenbelt Committee members were angered to find partially cut trees in a protected greenbelt between Jackson Lane and Oak Bay Road.

“I’m just beside myself when it comes to this type of activity that can do potential harm,” said Greenbelt Committee member Jack Riggen who, along with member Larry Scott, last Thursday cut down the partially cut trees closest to Oak Bay Road.

“We are especially sensitive since the Charawell incident,” Riggen said, recalling the Jan. 14 death of Suzanne J. Charawell, who was killed when an Oak Bay Road tree fell on the vehicle 74-year-old Port Ludlow resident was driving in a wind storm.

Jefferson County Undersheriff Tony Hernandez on Tuesday said an investigation was under way but that finding evidence may be difficult.

“No one is admitting to it, and people can say anything they want, but if we don’t have the evidence . . .” Hernandez said.

“It’s kind of hard to get fingerprints from a tree.”

The complaint has been written up as possible malicious mischief, a misdemeanor.

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