Arrest made in murder of Gladstone salon owner

Arrest made in murder of Gladstone salon owner

GLADSTONE, Ore. – Police arrested a 54-year-old woman Friday, accusing her of murdering Gladstone Beauty Salon owner, 54-year-old Debbie Lee Higbee Benton.

Susan Ellen Campbell was arrested at her home, which is about six blocks from where Higbee Benton was killed, on one count of murder and is lodged at the Clackamas County Jail.

Police declined Friday night to release any more information on the case because the investigation is ongoing.

Higbee Benton's body was found at her shop in Gladstone Saturday, May 28. She had been in a relationship with a Gladstone police sergeant, Lynn Benton, who was on duty at the time. She was granted bereavement leave.

Friends of the two women said the pair lived together and referred to each other as their wife. they also said they had a commitment ceremony and wore wedding rings.

Police would only say Campbell was an acquaintance of Benton, but Campbell's neighbors said she took care of the police sergeant’s elderly mother.

Neighbors said detectives had been scouring the neighborhood for clues this week. They also said they saw Sgt. Lynn Benton's police cruiser in front of the suspect's home almost daily before the murder.

"That was her mother living there then it was understandable why the cop was there all the time," said "Susie" a neighbor of Campbell.

Higbee Benton owned the salon for approximately 20 years.

Campbell will appear in court Monday.

KATU News reporter Thom Jensen contributed to this report.

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