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Court documents shed light on Missoula double homicide

Posted at 6:33 PM, Oct 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-23 11:16:29-04

MISSOULA – We’re learning more details surrounding the double murder at a Missoula motel last Friday.

The two men who are facing homicide charges as police continue to investigate the incident made their first appearances in a Missoula courtroom on Monday.

Court documents state that three people were shot in room 228 of the Mountain Valley Inn early Friday morning.

Jason Flink, 23, and Megan McLaughlin, 31, did not survive their gunshot wounds. A third person, Kaleb Williams, did survive the attack and was transported to the hospital with unknown injuries.

Upon reviewing surveillance footage, police discovered two men and one woman leaving the hotel in a pickup truck at 1:01 a.m. Friday. The video showed both men carrying firearms and a woman running.

Missoula Police arrested one of the male suspects, Preston Rossbach, later Friday morning. In his interview with police, Rossbach said Jonathan Whitworth, an unidentified female and himself had gone to the “plugs” motel to find drugs.

Whitworth was also identified in the video by multiple people interviewed by MPD.

According to court documents, investigators say the three entered the motel room with Whitworth asking if anyone had drugs. In court documents, someone stated they did not have drugs and the three people left.

Rossbach told police that the group then went back to their vehicle, but Whitworth began to make his way back to the hotel room. Rossbach says that Whitworth went on to shoot three people.

Rossbach claims to have not shot anyone and that he did not have a gun on him that morning, but MPD has determined from the surveillance footage that Rossbach did carry a weapon when leaving the hotel room and will now face homicide charges in Missoula District Court. He’s being held in the Missoula jail on $250,000 bond.

Whitworth, who was arrested by Missoula County sheriff’s deputies Sunday morning near the Missoula International Airport, is also facing homicide charges. 

Law enforcement was able to apprehend Rossbach and question him late Friday morning. It took them more time and effort to find Whitworth throughout the weekend and they received multiple leads from the public. 

The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office emphasized that they had unmarked vehicles in the Lolo area searching for Whitworth and conducting surveillance.

“It came in Saturday, or Sunday rather that we had a guy that looked like Jonathan Whitworth on a bike out by Missoula International Airport so deputies obviously were quick to respond out there,” Missoula County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Brenda Bassett said.

“It just so happened that he was Jonathan Whitworth and we were able to take him into custody without incident so we felt good about that. I think there was a lot of people — in the Lolo community especially — slept a lot better that night just knowing that he was in custody,” Bassett added.

The Sheriff’s Office says that the information they received from the public was significant was and were quick to thank all other law enforcement agencies in the arrest of Rossbach and Whitworth.