Couple Charged With 1st Degree Murder in 1982 Stephen Smith Murder

Bernard Swaim
Bernard Swaim makes preliminary court appearance

Chelan County authorities believe they have solved a a 35-year-old murder case with the arrest of the victim’s ex-wife and a Sultan man.

Dawn Soles makes preliminary court appearance
Bernard Swaim represented by Defense Attorney Nick Yedin





57-year-old Dawn Soles and 60-year-old Bernard Swaim are charged with first degree murder in the death of then 30-year-old Stephen S. Smith of Cashmere. Smith disappeared in July of 1982 and court documents say Soles and Swaim conspired to get him drunk then kill him.

Detectives revived Cashmere cold case

Sheriff Brian Burnett says detectives were able to piece together new evidence in the three-decade long case by developing new leads and, “old fashion investigative interviews. The Sheriff says Swaim became a person of interest after detectives received information from the victim’s family members. Swaim and Soles had married following Soles divorce from Smith in 1982.

Stephen E. Smith of Cashmere (Photo Courtesy of the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office)

Smith’s body was never found, His abandoned vehicle was found parked on Dead Man Hill Road in the Dryden area. Swaim and Soles appeared separately Monday in Chelan County Superior Court where Judge Leslie Allen read the charges and ordered Swaim held in custody on one million dollars bail. Soles bail was set at $500,000.