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Idaho fugitive arrested after calling cops to report snakebite

Ryan Paul Henry told dispatchers that he was lost somewhere in the Hells Canyon area, and that he had just been bitten by a rattlesnake.
Credit: Baker County Jail
Ryan Paul Henry

BAKER COUNTY, OREGON, Ore. — A wanted man is back in jail after he said he was bitten by a rattlesnake in eastern Oregon and called the sheriff's office for help.

According to the Baker County Sheriff's Office, 33-year-old Ryan Paul Henry called dispatch just before 7 p.m. Thursday. Giving dispatchers a fake name, Henry said that he was lost on foot somewhere in the Hells Canyon area, and that he had just been bitten by a rattlesnake.

The Baker County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team was preparing to respond when they learned Henry's real identity, and discovered that he was wanted on a felony warrant out of Idaho. The sheriff's office called off the rescue team, instead sending six deputies along with Sheriff Travis Ash and a U.S. Forest Service officer to Hewitt Park in the Richland area to begin the search.

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The sheriff's office launched two boats into the Snake River to look for Henry. He was eventually found just after 10 p.m., and assessed by members of Eagle Valley Ambulance.

After being treated, Henry was arrested and booked into the Baker County Jail.

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The Baker County Sheriff's Office has not released information about the charge on which Henry is wanted. However, authorities in Payette County were searching for him in 2017 after he was granted a furlough from the Payette County Jail to attend a funeral in Vale, and did not return to the detention center.