In-Custody Death at Purgatory Correctional Facility

On 08/25/2022 around 5:30 pm Correctional Deputies at the Purgatory Correctional Facility responded to an inmate who was unresponsive in her cell. The inmate has been identified as 39-year-old Paige Godwin. Deputies and medical staff performed life-saving measures while officers with the Hurricane Police Department and Emergency Medical Personnel were dispatched to the jail to assist. After 30 minutes of continued resuscitation efforts, the female was pronounced dead at the jail. Read more

Obituary of Sheriff Cory Pulsipher (Retired)

Cory Clarke Pulsipher, 56, returned to the loving arms of his Father in Heaven on Thursday, May 5th, 2022 while surrounded by his wife, Cathy, and their children after a hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer.

Cory was born June 10th, 1965, to Linda Pack and Arlon Anderson, in Murray Utah. When Cory was 5, his mother married Jack Pulsipher, who adopted Cory and his brothers as his own. Soon after the Pulsipher family moved to Washington, Utah, where Cory enjoyed a childhood of fun and friends in the little town. Cory was a rambunctious little boy and an adventurous teenager who loved the outdoors, riding bikes, and causing mischief for those around him. As a teenager, Cory developed a love for music, particularly when played at a loud volume while driving around, or to the annoyance of his family. Cory had an uncanny knack for all things mechanical and he spent his early adult years using those skills by working at Baileys’ Auto repairing and servicing vehicles. He served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission from 1984 to 1986.

Cory met the love of his life, Cathy Collins, in 1982 while they were both in high school. He was a Junior and she was a Senior. Despite the challenges of dating an “Older Woman”, Cory persevered and the two were married on April 18th, 1987 in the St. George Utah Temple. The couple was later blessed with three children, Scott Clarke Pulsipher, Dacy Dwan (Pulsipher) Leany, and Amy Beverly Pulsipher (soon-to-be Dursteler).

Cory loved cooking for crowds and was always eager to apply his skills, whether at family gatherings or at the many events held by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. As he aged he learned to love the finer things in life, particularly fishing and hunting. Cory was a busybody, and could never sit still. As a child, his parents even resorted to bribery in an attempt to get him to stay in one place. Despite offering multiple times to pay him $5 to sit quietly, they never had to pay out. Cory loved to meet people and see them smile. Cory even learned to ride a unicycle and make balloon animals for children, a skill he broke out at every available opportunity. Cory enjoyed serving as a mentor-leader for his church’s young men’s and scouting groups. He was a positive, down-to-earth influence on many people, young and old alike. In his private and public life, Cory served on far too many boards, committees, and commissions to number. Cory’s dedication to serving his community was remarkable in both scope and depth and will be remembered for many years.

Cory’s desire to help those in need persisted his entire life. As a young man, Cory found a passion for law enforcement and began working for the Washington City Police Department in 1986. On January 1st, 1987, the Washington City Police were absorbed by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and Cory continued the rest of his 35-year law enforcement career with the Sheriff’s Office. While at the Sheriff’s Office, Cory worked his way through every rank, from Deputy to Corporal, then Sergeant, and finally Lieutenant. While serving as Sergeant supervising the Search and Rescue Team, Cory found a new enthusiasm for helping others, especially those who found themselves in dangerous circumstances. Search and Rescue remained dear to Cory’s heart for the rest of his life. In 2010 Cory was elected to the first of three terms as Sheriff of Washington County. Cory took his role as Sheriff very seriously and was dedicated to serving the citizens of Washington County to the best of his ability. Cory worked tirelessly to promote the welfare of both the citizens of Washington County and his employees at the Sheriff’s Office. When asked at his retirement what he wished to be remembered for, Cory said that he hoped he would be remembered as an aggressive advocate for “his people”.

Cory is preceded in death by his multiple sets of grandparents, his father, Jack Pulsipher, his biological father, Arlon Anderson, and his sister, Lisa Pulsipher. He is survived by his wife, Cathy Pulsipher, his mother, Linda Pulsipher, and his children, Scott (Allison) Pulsipher, Dacy (Rob) Leany, Amy (David Dursteler) Pulsipher, his two grandchildren, Cory Luther Pulsipher and Dorothy Dwan Leany, as well as his siblings Brian Pulsipher, Dell (Cindy) Pulsipher, Dan (Jen) Anderson, and Theresa Howell.

In accordance with Cory’s wishes, there will be a viewing and visitation on Wednesday, May 11th from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the LDS Stake Center at 1130 East Brigham Road, St. George, Utah. There will be a private family graveside service at a later date.

Instead of flowers, Cory’s family asks that donations be made to the Washington County Search and Rescue, so that his legacy of helping others may carry on. Donations can be made at:

Passing of Sheriff Cory Pulsipher (Retired)

It is with the greatest sadness that the Washington County Sheriff’s Office announces the passing of Sheriff Cory Pulsipher, former three (3) term Sheriff of the Washington County Utah Sheriff’s Office. We would like to express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Pulsipher family, Sheriff Pulsipher’s wife, Cathy Pulsipher, and their children and grandchildren.

Sheriff Pulsipher leaves a legacy of devotion to his family, his faith, and his community. With more than 35 years of dedicated public service, he will be forever remembered for his tireless commitment to the people of Washington County. Sheriff Pulsipher guided our agency through both great and difficult times and did so with poise, dignity, steadfastness, and a friendly smile. Sheriff Pulsipher fostered lasting relationships with all those he came in contact with. He will truly be missed by all those who had the privilege of interacting with him.

Sheriff Pulsipher: leader, mentor, fisherman, devoted husband, father, and grandfather. May the Pulsipher family feel comfort in this time of grief. Thank you for allowing your husband, father, and grandfather to lead our agency for so many years.

New Backcountry Deputy Positions Show Immediate Benefits

 The Washington County Sheriff’s Office recently added four patrol positions that are specifically assigned to patrol the BLM lands and parts of the county that are difficult for area deputies to patrol due to distance and calls for service. The “backcountry deputy” will focus their patrol on the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve areas, rural BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land, as well as Kolob and Enterprise Reservoirs.

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Press Release: Officer Involved Critical Incident in Washington City

33 NORTH 100 WEST, SUITE 200

Date: March 17, 2021
Initial Investigation Information
For Immediate Release
Officer Involved Critical Incident in Washington City

On March 16, 2021, around 2:39 PM, law enforcement officers received a report of a male suspect driving erratically and pointing a gun at multiple people in the area of 20 North Red Trail Lane in Washington City. Law enforcement officers located the suspect near Washington Parkway and Telegraph Street. When officers attempted to stop the suspect’s vehicle, the suspect fled at a high rate of speed. Officers did not initially engage in a high-speed pursuit. The suspect was located a short time later near 20 North Red Trail Lane where he stopped his vehicle and fled on foot.

The suspect ran into an apartment at 20 North Red Trail Lane and he was subsequently identified as Augustus James Cole (age 33). Mr. Cole barricaded himself inside his apartment and the Washington County Metro SWAT team responded to the scene. The residents living in the apartments surrounding the incident were evacuated. Over the next several hours multiple officers reported seeing Mr. Cole through the windows of the apartment holding various firearms. Mr. Cole also put a sign on his window telling the police he has a 45 caliber firearm and 12 gauge shotgun.

Mr. Cole spoke with law enforcement negotiators various times while barricaded in his apartment. He communicated that he would shoot anyone who came to the front door. He also repeatedly refused to come into police custody.

Around 9:20 PM, officers reported that Mr. Cole pointed a shotgun in their direction and a SWAT officer fired one round from his rifle, striking Mr. Cole in the abdomen. Mr. Cole continued to barricade himself inside the apartment and communicate with law enforcement negotiators. During the incident, the SWAT team used tear gas and an explosive to open the apartment’s front door. Mr. Cole eventually surrendered around 11:52 PM and was then transported to the hospital and treated for the gunshot wound. He was then booked into the Washington County Jail for multiple charges including aggravated assault, possession of a weapon by a restricted person, and drug possession.

Any time a law enforcement officer uses deadly force in the area, the Washington County Critical Incident Taskforce conducts a thorough investigation into whether the use of force was justified. The taskforce is led by Barry Golding, the chief investigator for the Washington County Attorney’s office. It is composed of experience law enforcement officers from various agencies in the county. Questions may be directed to Chief Golding at the contact information above. This is an active investigation and additional information will be released as it develops.

Kelsey family’s video of Britton’s Search & Rescue

On November 27th 2020, The Washington County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue was deployed to assist in locating 15yo Britton Kelsey who had become separated from his family during a hike on the Red Mountain trail.  Search & Rescue volunteers scoured the red mountain with the assistance of family, friends, caring citizens and other law enforcement agencies.  This video, which captures a brief glimpse into the emotion and dedication involved in nearly every incident, was shared publicly by the Kelsey family.  We share this as a reminder of the constant sacrifices made by our Search & Rescue volunteers who continually make themselves available to ensuring the safety of the people of Washington County.

Supplemental Press Release ZNP Missing Person Case

On October 20th 2020 Sergeant Darrell Cashin spoke with a local media outlet regarding our agency’s involvement in Zion National Park’s missing person investigation of hiker, Holly Courtier.  During the interview, Sergeant Cashin commented on circumstances of Courtier’s recovery which were not consistent with our training and experience.  These inconsistencies raised some questions as to the authenticity of the events as reported to law enforcement.  In response to numerous media inquiries, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office stands behind the observations and statements made by Sergeant Cashin.  However. we feel it is important to clarify that we stand by our initial release that we were only involved in a consultation role.  We fully support the findings of the National Park Service investigation and believe their investigation into the incident was thorough and well executed.  

Sergeant Cashin’s comments, along with national media coverage, led to many additional questions and theories regarding the incident.  Numerous tips have been received indicating the incident was possibly conceived and carried out as part of a plan to fraudulently generate money to a GoFundMe account for Courtier’s recovery. 

Despite the thorough investigation conducted by the National Park Service, Utah State Code does not grant them the authority to investigate violations of Utah law.  Based on our local authority and jurisdiction, the Sheriff’s Office had an obligation to the public to investigate the criminal allegations which were being presented.

At this point in the investigation, there has been no evidence to support the theory that the incident was committed intentionally as an effort to achieve financial gain.  However, we ask that any credible information submitted is based on tangible leads, and/or evidence which can be shared with investigators.  Tips regarding this case should be submitted to 

Zion National Park- Missing Person Press Release

The Sheriff’s Office would like to apologize for our delayed response regarding our involvement in the Courtier missing persons investigation conducted by Zion National Park.  Over a 24 hour period we attempted to post the information to our social media page on Facebook, but were denied access citing a “violation of community standards.”  After a day of attempted appeals, it was decided to post the release here for availability to both the press and public.

RE: Zion National Park Missing Person

We have received many requests for comment regarding our involvement in the Courtier Missing Persons investigation. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by Zion National Park officials in consultation regarding the Courtier Missing Persons investigation and subsequent Search and Rescue Operation. In an effort to ensure all investigative efforts had been covered and possibly provide additional insight, a case review was requested by Zion National Park Rangers.

On October 15th and 16th a Sheriff’s Office investigator and Search and Rescue representative reviewed the investigation. It was our finding that the investigative methods were consistent with Sheriff’s Office investigative practices and no further action was recommended. Based on these findings we remained available for assistance should the National Park Service make the request. This was the extent of our involvement regarding the case and all further media inquiries should be directed Zion National Park.


Washington County Drug Task Force Tip Seeks Public Information

The Mission Statement of the Washington County Drug Task Force is to protect the citizens of Washington County from individuals involved in gangs, drugs, and other clandestine crimes. Law enforcement as a whole have experienced an alarming increase in overdose service calls. The task force is committed to the relentless pursuit and prosecution of individuals who choose to distribute dangerous and deadly drugs in our community. The task force would like to solicit your help in this valiant pursuit. If you have any information you would like to share, please submit it HERE.

Tips can be submitted anonymously or if you would like the opportunity to provide additional assistance, you can leave your contact information on the form and a detective will contact you.

Another goal of the task force is education. Please leave your contact information with a request for a presentation from the task force and a detective will contact you.



Inmate Face Mask Ordering

At Purgatory Correctional Facility we are issuing FDA approved disposable masks. In addition, family members will be authorized to purchase reusable cloth masks if you so desire. The only approved mask that can be purchased is at the following link (BLACK COLOR ONLY):


Please note that only the masks will be delivered. If other items are shipped with the mask, the package will be refused.