In early April of this year, Holbrook, Idaho went from relatively unknown, even on a regional level to a place of national interest. Three adults were shot to death and two children were found inside of the same house. The kids, two and six months old, were left alone with the bodies for nearly 24 hours. In addition to this, nearly one hundred thousand dollars’ worth of marijuana was found in the home. And to top it all off, 60 pit bulls were found with clear evidence that a dog fighting operation had happened not one week earlier. So how did such a small, local police force deal with this Goliath of a case?
Oneida County Sheriff Jeff Semrad explained, "This particular case is huge. We’re dealing with dogs, were dealing with the drug end of it. There are many tentacles out there, it’s going all over. We’ve contacted people in pretty much every western state in the United States. It’s a major case for an agency this small."
The Sheriff admits that this case has taken a lot of time and a lot of energy.
Semrad said that, "It is very draining and it continues to be. We have me and my Chief Deputy and detective full time on it, everyone else has been taking care of the other calls. We’ve pretty much been full time on this and it takes its toll it really does."
In a small community like Holbrook, you don’t always have services. Police and firefighters aren’t going to be at your fingertips, you rely on each other and you accept your situation.
In terms of the community, Semrad added, "You talk to anyone out there and they all understand that if their house catches on fire, there’s a pretty good chance that it burns to the ground. It’s a choice that they make to live out there, but they have all their property out there their farms are there their cattle and everything. When someone needs something, all they have to do is call a neighbor. That’s how people in communities like this work, we help each other."
The Sheriff wanted to remind everyone that if you have information about this case, don’t hesitate to contact the Sheriff’s office.
He said that, "No information is insignificant, no matter what it is if they can call us and let us know, just leave a number and we’ll get back to them. You can text a tip in here. There are emails out there, however you want to communicate, you can and we will check that information out."
With such a challenging and draining case, what is the fuel that keeps this Sheriff and Sheriff’s Department going?
Semrad explained his dedication was motivated by, "Two little girls don’t have their parents anymore and that’s who were working for. We’re working for those two little girls and trying to bring justice to those that took their parents away from them and so people need to keep that in mind."
If you have any information connected to this case, here is the contact information for the Oneida County Sheriff's Department:
Report a crime 208-766-2251