A Pendleton man was arrested on a murder charge Saturday night after he called Jefferson County 911 from Madras to say he may have killed a woman near Sisters – about the same time Deschutes County deputies were called to a Cloverdale-area home, where a woman’s body was found, officials said Sunday.
Joshua Leo Jokinen, 30, of Pendleton, called the Frontier Consolidated Dispatch that serves Jefferson County from a Madras location around 10 p.m. Saturday to report that he might have killed a woman near Sisters, said Deschutes County Sheriff Larry Blanton told NewsChannel 21.
Sheriff’s Capt. Tim Edwards said Madras police contacted Jokinen, who arrested him on a parole violation out of Umatilla County and lodged him in the Jefferson County Jail.
Around 10:40 p.m., Blanton said, Deschutes County deputies responded to a home on Kent Road in the Cloverdale area, east of Sisters, when a man who periodically checked in on the woman living there called 911 to report finding her body.
An investigation led to Jokinen’s arrest in the Deschutes County homicide, and he was moved to the county jail in Bend, where he remained held without bail Sunday on a charge of murder and the Umatilla County parole violation.
Later Sunday, the sheriff's office identified the victim as Carolyn Grace Burdick, 78. Online information indicates she was a well-known Arabian horse breeder and the owner of Masterpiece Arabians.
After the call from the friend checking on Burdick, Blanton said, "we were able to put it all back together. It's a very strange, senseless act, but one we're taking very seriously. What a tragedy."
Blanton said they still were investigating how Burdick died.
"We may make some additional arrests, but there is no unknown suspect that is causing residents any additional danger," he said. "We've got it figured out, and we've been on it all night, and we have the murder suspect in our facility for murder."
Deschutes County District Attorney Patrick Flaherty said he arrived at the Cloverdale home around 3 a.m. and that Oregon State Police crime-scene analysts from Portland arrived about 5:30 a.m. to help process the scene.
An autopsy is scheduled Monday morning at the state Medical Examiner's Office near Portland, Flaherty said, and Jokinen will be arraigned Tuesday on the murder charge.
According to unconfirmed scanner reports Saturday night, deputies were called to the Cloverdale home by a friend who went to check on the woman and found her body on the ground, with blood on the floor.
Neighbor Vernie Merritt told NewsChannel 21 she didn't hear or see anything strange in the hours leading up to the discovery, but her heart dropped when she saw police cars surrounding Burdick's home Saturday night.
Merritt said Burdick was kind and loving, and an active part of the community.
Jokinen has a long criminal history. He was living in Madras in 2006 when he was sentenced that August to nearly six years in prison for an assault that seriously injured a Jefferson County man. Police said he struck a man several times with a trailer hitch ball in an unprovoked attack, causing a skull fracture.
Jokinen, who was on probation at the time for methamphetamine possession, fled the scene but was arrested about two weeks later in Crook County, police said.
He was charged with attempted murder and second-degree assault in the Madras attack, but later pleaded guilty to the assault charge in a plea deal in which the attempted murder charge was dismissed.
Online records indicate Jokinen also was arrested in March of this year in Umatilla County on a parole violation charge. In Deschutes County, he was arrested in December 2004 on a charge of violating a restraining order, and in June and September 2005 on second-degree theft charges.
Sheryl Webb Pack, the mother of the murder suspect's young son, told NewsChannel 21 she wanted to offer their "most sincere apology to the family and to the victim. They are in our hearts." She also said she believed he never should have been released from prison and had experienced many years of physical and mental abuse.
"I am truly sorry for the loss of this poor lady. My heart is broken," she wrote.
We will have a full report tonight on NewsChannel 21 at Six.