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Arrest warrant issued for Missoula double murder

Posted at 8:15 PM, Oct 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-20 22:15:04-04
An arrest warrant has been issued for Jonathon Whitworth, in connection with a double murder at a Missoula motel. (Courtesy of the Missoula Police Department)
An arrest warrant has been issued for Jonathon Whitworth, in connection with a double murder at a Missoula motel. (Courtesy of the Missoula Police Department)

MISSOULA – Authorities have issued an arrest warrant in connection with Friday morning’s double murder at a Missoula hotel.

The Missoula Police Department has issued an arrest warrant for Jonathon Whitworth, 27, on a deliberate homicide charge. Whitworth has initially been described as a person of interest in connection with the deaths.

Three people were shot — and two died — at a Missoula motel in the 400 block of West Broadway shortly after 1 a.m. on Friday.

Missoula Police Lt. Ed McLean added that Preston Rossbach, 18, was arrested and is being held due to his involvement in this case.

Whitworth is still at large and was last confirmed to be in the Lolo area on foot. He has also been reported to be in the Stevensville area, according to Lt. McClean.

Whitworth is a Native-American male who is 5’11″ and weighs 185 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with knowledge of his current whereabouts is encouraged to call 9-1-1. Anyone with other information is asked to contact Det. Mark Blood at (406) 552-6281.

Police say that Whitworth may be armed and dangerous and should not be approached.

(10:18 a.m.) Police are continuing their investigation into the discovery of two bodies in Missoula.

Sgt. Travis Welsh of the Missoula Department says officers were called to a disturbance at the Mountain Valley Inn motel on the 400 block of West Broadway shortly after 2 a.m. on Friday.

Police officers found that two people were dead and that a third person was seriously wounded by gunfire, according to a news release. The third person who was shot was taken by ambulance to a Missoula hospital.

The names of the two people found dead have not yet been released, nor has the apparent cause of their deaths.

Sgt. Welsh says authorities are looking for Jonathon Whitworth in connection with the investigation.

He says that Whitworth has been determined to be a person of interest in the case and was last seen in the Lolo area on foot. Whitworth is 27 years old, Native-American, 5’11” tall, 185 pounds, with has brown hair and brown eyes. Whitworth should not be approached; Sgt. Welsh says that he may be armed and dangerous.

The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office released the following information on Saturday morning:

***PERSON OF INTEREST*** We have had people reaching out overnight about Jonathan Whitworth, a person of interest in a Missoula City Police Department murder investigation. We have had several deputies in the Lolo area where he was last seen leaving a residence on foot. Right now, we are following every lead and taking every call for service very seriously. If you have seen officers in that area this is why. However, we have not received any credible information that he is still in the area. There is currently no “man hunt” going on in that area. Residences there do not have to lock themselves inside their home, however, they should remain cautious and report any suspicious activity.

Anyone with information about his current whereabouts is encouraged to call 911.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Detective Mark Blood at 406-552-6281.