Coroner: Grant County Sheriff’s Deputy Died Of COVID-19. Confirmation Came Weeks After Death

Grant County Sheriff's Deputy Jon Melvin was found in his home in Desert Aire, Washington, on Dec. 11, 2020. He was due to retire early this year.
Grant County Sheriff's Deputy Jon Melvin was found in his home in Desert Aire, Washington, on Dec. 11, 2020. He was due to retire early this year. Courtesy Grant County Sheriff's Office

READ ON

A central Washington sheriff’s deputy has died of COVID-19,  according to the Grant County Coroner’s office. 

Jon Melvin, 60, was found Dec. 11, 2020, in bed at his home in Desert Aire, in southwest Grant County. Fellow deputies were checking on his welfare after family members were unable to reach him.

“He had pneumonia due to COVID-19,” Jerry Jasman, chief investigator with the Grant County Coroner’s office, said Monday.

This marks the first known sheriff’s deputy in Washington to die of COVID-19. There have been nearly a half dozen other Washington law enforcement officers to die of COVID-19 complications: two state corrections officers, another corrections officer from Yakima County, a police officer from Bainbridge Island and a federal officer

Grant County Deputy Melvin had served over 35 years in law enforcement. He was hired in May 1984 and spent most of his career as a Grant County deputy. Melvin was preparing to retire in early 2021 once he reached 36 years of service.

In addition to patrol, Melvin served in a wide range of special assignments, including the off-road vehicle unit, search and rescue, marine, and as a school resource officer at Wahluke schools in Mattawa. He was also the community deputy for Desert Aire.

“Deputy Melvin was a well-rounded, highly-skilled deputy whose intelligence was outweighed only by his compassion and willingness to always help others,” Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones said in a statement. “Jon will be deeply missed.”

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office says it will assist Melvin’s family with arrangements. 

Related Stories:

The nearly-deserted parking lot at the beginning of what should have been a busy May weekend explains a lot about why the only supermarket in Point Roberts, Washington, is on the verge of closure.

Food Crisis Feared In Washington Town Isolated By Border As Only Grocery Store Teeters On Closure

A local fire chief is warning of a looming “humanitarian crisis” on the peninsula of Point Roberts in northwest Washington state. It’s a strange predicament brought on by a money-losing supermarket and pandemic-related restrictions on crossing the U.S.-Canada border. Continue Reading Food Crisis Feared In Washington Town Isolated By Border As Only Grocery Store Teeters On Closure

File photo, Dec. 7, 2015, a worker cleans a display case at the Ganja Goddess Cannabis Store in Seattle. On Monday, June 7, 2021, Washington state officials announced that the state's nearly 500 licensed marijuana retailers could begin hosting COVID-19 vaccine clinics and offering a single, free pre-rolled marijuana cigarette to any adult over 21 who receives a shot on-site, but due to federal law and other complications, it's not clear if any of the state's legal pot shops will participate. A current manager at Ganja Goddess said that they would not be participating because they do not have space to host a clinic. CREDIT: Ted S. Warren/AP

Washington’s ‘Joints For Jabs’ COVID Vaccine Program Off To A Rocky Start With Pot Retailers

It was designed as an innovative way to promote COVID-19 vaccinations, but Washington’s new “joints for jabs” program is off to a rough start. Officials announced Monday that the state’s nearly 500 licensed marijuana retailers could begin hosting vaccine clinics and offering a single, free pre-rolled marijuana cigarette to any 21-plus adult who received a shot there. Continue Reading Washington’s ‘Joints For Jabs’ COVID Vaccine Program Off To A Rocky Start With Pot Retailers