PORTLAND, Ore. – The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said a 71-year-old woman was murdered by her 17-year-old great-grandson and his 19-year-old friend.
The Medical Examiner’s Office said Bell died of "blunt force trauma".
The two suspects, 17-year-old Joda H. Cain and 19-year-old Micus D. Ward, were taken into custody on Interstate 84 after a high-speed chase. Cain, Bell’s great-grandson, was living with her before her death.
Someone who was concerned about Bell called 911 after 8 a.m. Saturday. Deputies entered Bell’s home and found her dead, Ray said.
Earlier that morning, state police troopers responded to a driving complaint on I-84. They attempted to stop the car when troopers saw the driver speeding and driving all over the road. A trooper then used a driving maneuver that caused the car to spin out.
The driver, later identified as Cain, was pinned in by the patrol car. The passenger, later identified as Ward, ran from the scene but was captured a short time later by a trooper, Ray said.
State police said they were driving Bell’s Lexus ES350 at speeds as fast as 135 mph.
A photo taken at the traffic stop Saturday morning. (Courtesy: Washington Co. Sheriff's Office)
Troopers took Cain and Ward into custody while they called the Washington County Sheriff’s Office to check if Bell knew where her car was or who was driving it. The call was made just before deputies entered Bell’s home and found her body.
“Investigators have discovered evidence that leads them to accuse Mr. Cain and Mr. Ward of killing Ms. Bell then stealing her Lexus to flee back to Kansas City where they both recently lived,” Ray said in a news release. “A motive is not known at this time.”
Ward (mugshot at right) is currently in the Union County Jail. Cain is in the custody of Washington County Juvenile Services.
The two will be charged with Measure 11 crimes in Washington County, Ray said. Specific charges have not yet been determined.
Cain is a junior at Sunset High School and came back to Oregon a few months ago. He moved back and forth from Oregon and Kansas City, Mo. He also spent time in Aloha.
Some family told investigators that he and Ward are cousins.
Neighbors who spoke with KATU said they did not know much about Bell’s private life.
“There’s just been her, and a boyfriend on occasion, and, I’m assuming, grandson, great-grandson over those 20 years,” said neighbor Jennifer Kveton. “Not a lot of activity over there.”
Bell was a board member of Northwest Pilot Project, a housing agency for seniors. She was retired, but previously worked as an auditor for Multnomah County and PacifiCorp.
KATU's Dan Cassuto and Erica Nochlin contributed to this story.