12-year-old Ashland boy accused of killing mother, injuring sister

By Nick Morgan For the Tidings

A 12-year-old boy has been arrested for allegedly stabbing his mother and sister multiple times Tuesday morning at their Ashland home.

Ashland police said they found the mother, Pamela J. Wolosz, 52, dead when they arrived at 922 Morton St. at about 8:20 a.m. The boy’s sister, a juvenile, is being treated at a local hospital and is expected to survive, police said.

“Every homicide is tough, and to watch this unfold and see a 12-year-old taken into custody for murdering his mother, it’s been a rough day and it’s going to be a rough patch for the community to work through,” Ashland police Chief Tighe O’Meara said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon. “This is really especially tragic.”

Police were dispatched to the home following two 9-1-1 calls from two different people, according to O’Meara, who did not identify the callers.

The situation was “contained immediately and there was no threat as soon as officers got on scene,” O’Meara said. The 12-year-old boy was cooperative with police and taken into custody right away.

The knife used in the stabbing was a medium-to-large chef’s knife, presumably taken from the kitchen, and has been recovered, O’Meara said. At least one other family member was home during the stabbing and was uninjured, according to O’Meara, though he declined to elaborate further.

Property records show that the 4,048-square-foot home was sold to Pamela J. Wolosz and James Haswell Holmes in February 2015. On public Facebook profiles, Jim Holmes, connected to Pam Wolosz, has a blog in which he describes himself as a “work at home” father.

A message to Holmes was not immediately returned.

The boy’s sister is in stable condition and expected to survive her injuries, according to O’Meara. She was taken into surgery at a local hospital as of this afternoon.

The boy is being held at juvenile services in Medford, O’Meara said. O’Meara didn’t believe the boy had any sort of criminal history.

“To my knowledge we don’t have any indication that this young man has had a troubled past,” O’Meara said.

O’Meara said police had not been called to the home before. “This was completely out of the blue,” he said.

A search of online records shows Wolosz was a retired U.S. Air Force officer with a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering and master’s in engineering management and is listed as a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists. She was listed as a volunteer with the Ashland Independent Film Festival this year. Her Facebook page says she studied at Purdue University and went to Tremper High School in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Detectives from Oregon State Police, Medford police, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Central Point police are assisting as part of the Major Assault and Death Investigation Unit.

Jackson County District Attorney Beth Heckert had been on scene with deputy district attorneys, according to O’Meara.

“The district attorney will make decisions about the most appropriate way to charge him,” O’Meara said.

Calls to Heckert and Juvenile Services Deputy Director Joe Ferguson were not immediately returned.

O’Meara encouraged law enforcement staff and those affected in the community to find emotional support through religious leaders or professionals.

Next steps in the investigation will include speaking with the boy’s friends and his sister’s friends, according to O’Meara. Police don’t yet know what prompted the attacks or what the boy’s state of mind was at the time.

“It’s going to take a while,” O’Meara said. “I would imagine detectives would be working on this for several days to maybe a couple weeks.”

— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.

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