Father and son both in custody on murder charges

Rufus Phelps III and Rufus Phelps IV remain in custody in relation to the murder of a 59-year-old Moclips man.

The Phelps father and son were both arrested in connection with the death.

Following the surrender of 62-year-old Rufus Phelps III last week, a search began for his son, 32-year-old Rufus Phelps IV who was believed to be an accomplice.

Late last week, the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office stated that a witness recognized the younger Phelps in a public setting and contacted officials. 

Law enforcement responded and took Phelps into custody without incident. 

During the murder investigation an unrelated victim reportedly came forward and advised she was raped by Rufus Phelps IV on 03-11-23. 

Detectives are investigating that crime and tell KXRO that at this point they have developed probable cause for this additional charge. 

The rape charge will be submitted to the Grays Harbor County Prosecutor when the investigation is completed.

Detectives add that they were able to locate what they believe is the firearm used in the murder of the Moclips man.

There are no more suspects identified at this point in the investigation.

“We are very pleased to have both dangerous suspects in custody so quickly. The Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office Detectives and Deputies have worked around the clock on this investigation. We appreciate the assistance from the citizen who alerted us to Phelps. We also appreciate the assistance we received from numerous law enforcement agencies. Large investigations like this cannot be completed without teamwork from all law enforcement.”