Sheriff's Office

For Immediate Release

PR #: 1600014
Date Issued: Mar 02, 2016 - 4:19pm

Washoe County Sheriff's Office Detectives arrest woman on child neglect, animal abuse, DUI and drug charges

CONTACT: Bob Harmon
Washoe County Sheriff's Office
Office 775-785-6235
Cell 775-722-5517

Detectives with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office arrested Laura Beth Hesse, age 30 of Stead, Tuesday on multiple charges following an investigation that started after a deceased dog was found in a dumpster. Charges include child neglect, willful and malicious torture/maiming/killing of a dog/animal, Driving Under the Influence and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

On February 3, 2016, officers with the Reno Police Department located the body of a female Boxer wrapped in a towel inside a dumpster located behind a business on the 13000 block of Stead Boulevard. Washoe County Regional Animal Services was notified.

Animal Services identified Hesse as the owner of the animal. Because the necropsy indicated that the dog's death was related to multiple stab wounds and blunt force trauma to the head, Animal Services notified the Sheriff's Office Detective Division to review the case for possible criminal activity.

The Sheriff's Office investigation uncovered evidence to support arresting Hesse on charges for killing her dog as a means to save on the fees necessary to have the animal euthanized by a veterinarian.

On Tuesday, March 1, 2016, Detectives conducted an operation in the area of Zeolite Drive and Lear Boulevard related to this investigation. Detectives observed Hesse exiting a residence on Zeolite Drive and entering a vehicle. Hesse ran a nearby stop sign and was subsequently stopped by a Sheriff's Office Patrol Deputy. Hesse was found to be driving under the influence and taken into custody.

During the traffic stop, Sheriff's Office personnel observed a small child exit an open door at the Zeolite Drive residence and begin wandering the neighborhood. Attempts were made to contact someone within the home with no response. Deputies observed controlled substances within the residence and obtained a search warrant. A search of the house discovered methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

This is an ongoing investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact the Washoe County Sheriff's Office Detective Division at (775) 328-3320 or Secret Witness at (775) 322-4900.

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to preserving a safe and secure community with professionalism, respect, integrity and the highest commitment to equality. Sheriff Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was created in 1861. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office strives to ensure public safety by building trust and creating partnerships within the diverse communities in which we serve. We will promote the dignity of all people supported by our words and actions through open communication while fostering an environment of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect.