Photo courtesy of Jon King

The Missoula County Attorney’s office has been very busy with violent offenders so far this year, Deputy County Attorney Jason Marks says incidents of choking appear to be occurring more frequently.

"These extremely serious domestic violence cases have really been on the uptick, we've certainly had strangulation cases in the past, but there just seem to be a larger number of them over the past year. I wish I had an explanation for them, but I just don't have one."

Between 2014 and 2015, County attorney Kirsten Pabst said that the number of child abuse and neglect cases more than doubled. Now, after many child abuse cases in just the past week, Marks says that 2016 is on a course to have a higher total of abuse cases than last year.

"There have definitely been some significant domestic violence cases: Glenn Sipp-Angst, assault on the child and then strangulation of the child's mother, then we had a woman glenda Williams who is back again for assaulting her children. We are up in child abuse and neglect cases 27 percent over last year, and last year was very high for us too."

Though Marks said it is hard to find easy answers for these difficult problems, the rising use of meth in western Montana is thought to be one of the leading causes in the uptick in violent crime.