Oregon-based non-profit sends gifts to Baxter officers

BAXTER SPRINGS - It was more than just your usual Monday morning at the Baxter Springs Police station on Jan. 8. After suffering severe injuries in the line of duty on Sept. 30, 2017, and undergoing treatments including skin grafts, Officer Jimmy Hamilton returned to duty.

The Baxter PD announced on Jan. 5 that Officer Hamilton had been medically cleared for light duty. He is assisting with dispatching and other duties within the office until his return to patrol.

Officer Hamilton spent a grueling three-and-a-half weeks in the burn unit at the Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, before returning home to continue his road to recovery.

The incident

Just before 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 30, 2017, Baxter Springs Police Officers were dispatched to 1007 West 11th in Baxter Springs for what was initially thought to be a domestic disturbance. As officers arrived, a male suspect, later identified as Harvey Raymond Ortberg, 49, threw fuel on a female victim and two officers, catching them on fire. As a third officer arrived and attempted to extinguish the fire, he too sustained injuries, along with the suspect.

Emergency medical personnel transported the victim, suspect and Officer Hamilton to a Springfield Missouri Hospital. The two other officers, Justin Butler and Darryl Nadeau, were treated and released at Freeman Hospital in Joplin. Sharon Horn, 65, of Baxter Springs, passed away just before 7 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, at a Springfield hospital.


Ortberg is being held at Cherokee County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond. He has been charged with First Degree Premeditated Murder, two Counts Of Attempted Capital Murder, Aggravated Arson, Aggravated Burglary, Aggravated Battery and two counts of Felony Child Endangerment. Ortberg's trial begins with preliminary hearings later this month.

"Comforting those who protect us"

Story of the horrific incident spread a lot further than just around the county. Quilts for Cops, a non-profit organization located in Oregon, learned the story of the three Baxter officers injured in the line of duty. They sent three handmade quilts for Officer Hamilton, Officer Butler and Sgt. Nadeau, who were all excited to receive their gracious gifts.

Quilts for Cops was founded by a woman named Bobbie Bebereia. Bobbie retired after 20+ years as a 911 Dispatcher at Oregon's second largest PSAP 911 center, and her husband is a retired sheriff. She was always grateful that he returned home safe at the end of every shift, but knew many are not so lucky. She decided to combine her love of quilting with her appreciation of all those who are not so fortunate.

Quilts for Cops is a registered 501c3 foundation and all donations are tax deductible. Since its founding on Oct. 25, 2016, over 300 beautiful handmade quilts have been sent to first responders across the nation who have been injured in the line of duty.