Arrest made in Bend New Year's stabbing of 2

Man, woman wounded; suspect eluded police for months

BEND, Ore. - An early New Year's Day stabbing of a man and woman during a fight at a northeast Bend apartment has been solved with the arrest of a Bend man, police said Friday.

Police were called to Apt. 204 at the Reserves at Pilot Butte, 21312 Hwy. 20, around 4:30 a.m. Jan. 1 on a 911 report of a stabbing, said Sgt. Nick Parker.

Officers arrived to find residents Kathy Thibeault, 38, and Triet Tran, 37, injured in an apparent stabbing, and the suspect had fled in a car, Parker said.

Thibeault sustained serious injuries to an arm and Tran had a head injury. Both were taken to St. Charles-Bend and later released, Parker said.

The ensuing investigation identified the suspect as Gerrit Evan Van Houweling, 23, Parker said.

Police say Thibeault and Tran, who did not know Van Houweling before that night, got into a dispute earlier in the night and separated.

Tran went to their home, and later, Thibeault got a ride home from Van Houweling, who she had just met, Parker said.

Van Houweling is accused of confronting Tran with a knife about the couple's earlier argument, and a fight ensued inside their home, during which the man and woman were injured with a knife.

A search warrant was obtained Jan. 19 for Van Houweling's home at 61702 Teal Road, east of Bend, Parker said. He was not home at the time of the raid, and since then, "exhaustive efforts" were made to find him.

Van Houweling was finally found and arrested on Wednesday. He was taken to the Deschutes County Jail and booked on first- and second-degree assault charges, as well as first-degree burglary.

A jail officer said Van Houweling was released from jail Thursday night after posting 10 percent of his $100,000 bail.

Alcohol was a factor in the incident, Parker said.

Police withheld many details of the incident in January, but indicated they were seeking two suspects. Parker said Friday he turned out to be a witness who was friends with the suspect but was not involved in the crime.

Parker added that part of the investigation involved "tracking down that witness, getting a statement from him."

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