Sierra Wave Media

Eastern Sierra News for June 14, 2024






This clip from bank surveillance tape shows the suspect wearing the same hat that officers say was found with the remains near Benton.

Two years ago, a man wearing dark glasses and a hat walked into Chase Bank in Bishop and demanded cash. Tellers said he had a gun. Steven Wiswell of Benton became the suspect and disappeared. The Mono Sheriff’s Office now says remains found at the end of May in Benton are positively those of Wiswell.

Mono Sheriff’s Officers had said that a man and woman on a walk in the Benton area near where Wiswell had lived found a skull and other human remains. They took photos with a cell phone. Deputies said a wallet belonging to Wiswell was found with the remains as was a hat that he appeared to be wearing in bank surveillance tape more than two years ago. Officers said Wiswell’s driver’s license was found in the wallet.

Undersheriff Ralph Obenberger confirmed that through DNA from Wiswell’s mother, the remains from Benton were positively identified as those of Steven Wiswell.

$545 was found in the wallet on scene. The Mono Sheriff’s Office said the cash was never tied to the Chase Bank robbery and was returned to Wiswell’s family. The robber in 2010 got away with a few thousand dollars.

The Sheriff-Coroner’s Office concluded that the cause of Wiswell’s death was suicide – a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Back in 2010 Bishop Police had issued a warrant for the then 49-year-old Wiswell’s arrest. At the time, then Bishop Police Chief Kathleen Sheehan had stated that several of Wiswell’s friends reported that he may have committed suicide. Images on the Paiute Palace Casino surveillance tape the night of the bank robbery confirmed some suspicions about Wiswell. Police said his image also closely matched that of the robber on the bank video tape.