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Thursday, December 7, 2023
Dec. 7, 2023

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Tri-Cities woman charged with murder. Her ex’s body was found under a pile of junk


KENNEWICK — A Mesa woman is awaiting extradition from Oregon after being charged Monday with killing her long-time partner and kidnapping her two children.

Chiloe Chervenell, 49, was arrested in Irrigon, Ore., with Kathleen Chervenell-Brinson’s cellphone, car and two kids, according to court documents.

The children were unharmed and turned over to Oregon officials until relatives could be reached.

Chervenell-Brinson had a court protection order to keep Chervenell from contacting her because of destructive drug-related behavior, showed the documents.

But Franklin County sheriff’s investigators believe Chervenell killed her and hid her body outside of a Mesa home underneath a pile of bicycles and other junk.

Franklin County prosecutors have charged her with second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree kidnapping.

She remained Monday in the Umatilla County Jail, waiting to be returned to Washington.

Court documents show that Chervenell-Brinson, 54, had been in a long-term relationship with Chervenell.

Chervenell-Brinson had custody of two children, both under 12, and a court order shows Chervenell was not supposed to have any contact with her and only supervised visits with the kids.

According to the petition for the protection order filed in April, Chervenell sold drugs and allowed addicts, sex offenders and fugitives to hide in their home.

The petition said Chervenell had previously choked Chervenell-Brinson, hard enough that she passed out.

Murder investigation

Franklin County deputies started investigating after Chervenell reportedly sent a text message to a friend on Thursday saying that she went to Mesa to talk to her wife and “didn’t know the power of her hands and killed her wife,” according to court records.

The friend alerted police just before 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4. At the time, no one had heard from Chervenell-Brinson since 10 a.m. Wednesday.

When deputies arrived at Kathleen Chervenell-Brinson’s home, they found Chervenell’s brother, and he didn’t suspect anything was wrong.

As police were investigating, he got a message from Chervenell-Brinson’s cellphone that was not written the way she normally texted.

An investigator called Kathleen’s phone and didn’t get an answer, though he soon got a call back. When he put the woman on the speaker phone she said she was Kathleen, but Chervenell’s brother said, “That is my sister.”

When police tracked the cellphone, they discovered it was in Oregon. Morrow County deputies discovered Chervenell-Brinson’s Chevy Equinox along the side of the road near Irrigon.

Chervenell and the two children were sleeping inside. The woman was arrested and the two children were placed into the custody of the Oregon Department of Human Services.

As investigators were tracking the phone’s location, another deputy discovered a body underneath a pile of bicycles and other items on the porch.

The Washington State Patrol helped with the crime scene investigation in Mesa and Oregon State Police helped in Irrigon, said a sheriff’s office release.

An autopsy in Spokane was scheduled for Monday to determine exactly how Chervenell-Brinson was killed, said Franklin County Coroner Curtis McGary.

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