This was bound to happen; it was a matter of time.
A month ago Jack Yantis, a rancher in Idaho's Adams County, was shot to death in an encounter with two sheriff's deputies. The incident has been under investigation since, and no charges have been filed, at least so far. Until yesterday, the deputies have not been named publicly. That, Sheriff Ryan Zollman said, was for their safety.
That might have held for a few days, at most, but certainly no longer than that.
Adams - it's familiar to us, since we formerly owned property there, and for some years planned to move there - is a small county of fewer than 4,000 people. It tax base is constrained, and people there aren't big on high tax rates. In such a county, a sheriff's office with as many as five or six deputies would be considered pretty well staffed. People in the county have encountered them, one way or another, for years. How long do you think it would take for them to figure out who the two in the Yantis incident were - especially since Zollman earlier had tagged them as having five and 15 years of experience respectively?
When the Idaho Statesman at Boise yesterday said it had multiple sources confirming the names - which evidently led Zollman to release the names himself - that could hardly have come as a surprise. A lot of Adams County people must have figured it out weeks ago.
It's hard to keep a secret in a small town. Now let's hope investigators release the rest of the rest before too much longer. - rs