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Coroner: Sheriff's deputy's death caused by COVID-19

Staff Writer | January 4, 2021 3:09 PM

GRANT COUNTY — A Grant County Sheriff’s Office deputy died from COVID-19, the GCSO said Monday in a statement.

Deputy Jon Melvin was found dead in his home Dec. 11 by fellow deputies who checked on his welfare, after family members were unable to reach him, according to an earlier GCSO social media post. A coroner’s report in early January identified the cause of death as pneumonia due to a coronavirus infection, said Public Information Officer Kyle Foreman.

“I know I speak on behalf of the sheriff’s office staff by saying that this helps us understand Jon’s untimely loss, although it still hurts deeply,” wrote Sheriff Tom Jones in a statement. “The sheriff’s office continues to support Jon’s family with helping them work through this time of loss and grieving by preparing for a future public ceremony to honor Jon.”

The 60-year-old deputy, who had expected to retire in the coming months, was hired by the GCSO in May 1984 and served most of his career with the agency, according to the sheriff’s office. He had more than 35 years of experience in law enforcement.

In addition to patrol, Deputy Melvin served in a wide range of special assignments including the Off-Road Vehicle Unit, the Search and Rescue Unit, the Marine Unit, a School Resource Officer at the Wahluke School District, and community deputy for Desert Aire, according to the sheriff’s office.

“Deputy Melvin was a well-rounded, highly skilled deputy whose intelligence was outweighed only by his compassion and willingness to always help others,” Jones wrote in a statement shortly after Melvin’s death. “Jon will be deeply missed.”

Emry Dinman can be reached via email at

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