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April 12, 2021

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Transient man faces murder charge in death of Carson resident

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter
Published:

A 45-year-old transient man faces a charge of second-degree murder stemming from an assault on a Carson man, according to the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office.

Nathan D. Goncalves was originally arrested on suspicion of first-degree assault. However, following the death of the victim, his charges were amended to include the murder charge and first- and second-degree manslaughter, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

Skamania County medics were dispatched around 3 p.m. Feb. 20 to Carson for a report of an unconscious man experiencing “seizure-type symptoms.” The medics requested a deputy to respond, too, because the patient, identified as Damon S. Vlietstra, 50, had an obvious injury to the left side of his face, which was thought to be caused by a fall from a seizure. Deputies were unable to gain further information due to an uncooperative witness, the sheriff’s office said.

Vlietstra was stabilized and then taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver.

Two days later, Vlietstra’s son called 911 to report someone named “Nathan” had come to his home and assaulted his father. It was not a seizure as originally reported, he told police. Deputies also learned that Vlietstra remained hospitalized for “end-of-life care,” and he was not expected to survive.

On Feb. 23, deputies obtained video from the son’s home. The sheriff’s office did not detail what the footage contained. Additionally, Goncalves came to the sheriff’s office and was arrested for alleged felony assault after confirming details about what happened. Deputies obtained a search warrant and collected evidence from the home in Carson.

Vlietstra died at the hospital the next day, according to the sheriff’s office. Detectives are awaiting the results of an autopsy. The investigation is ongoing.

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