BEND, OR -- Two nearly-simultaneous death investigations have Bend Police resources stretched thin, and have raised questions as to why it took so long for the public to be notified.
In one case, a Bend woman is accused of killing her elderly grandmother
back on New Year’s Eve. Chief Jim Porter tells KBND News not every death has an obvious cause. "With any death, it takes time to determine what the cause was, what the manner was, if there was a motivation, who was there to profit, who wasn’t to profit. And, quite often that means bringing in specialists. And, in this case it wasn’t until recently we were aware of some circumstances surrounding the death that would lead us to believe we needed to launch an investigation."
Angela Judd was arraigned Monday on murder and theft charges, in connection with the death of her 92-year-old grandmother. "These investigation nowadays, with the advent of social media, have become much more complicated and diverse and wide, requiring us to respond in different ways and have specialized detectives who know how to do those things," says Chief Porter.
Also last week, police pulled a body from the Deschutes River near downtown Bend. His identity has not been released, but Chief Porter says investigators believe he hadn't been seen since mid-December. "There are times when we will not know whether we’re dealing with a natural death, a suicide, an accidental death or a homicide, until maybe two to three weeks into the investigation, depending on the surrounding situation." He says state law requires an investigation into any death that occurs outside of the direct supervision of a medical professional. Police do not believe the man's death was a result of foul play.
Alongside those two local investigations, Chief Porter says about a dozen of his officers participated in the Harney County investigation into the officer-involved shooting that led to the death of Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, as part of the Deschutes County Major Incident Team.