Sunriver suspicious-death investigation continues

Weapon recovered on scene, Victim still not ID

Sunriver homicide investigation...

SUNRIVER, Ore. - Sunriver police and other agencies had little new to share Monday as the continued to investigate how a man in his mid- to late 30s was found dead on a bike path in the resort community on Sunday morning. 

"We're trying to backtrack from the location where we found him. And we're backtracking from there, and we're trying to understand where he was," Police Chief Marc Mills said. 

A man who was seen walking and apparently bleeding from the neck in Sunriver on Sunday morning, prompting two calls to police, was found dead on a bike path in the resort community. A multi-agency investigation of what officials termed a suspicious death was underway.

Police said late Sunday they are seeking witnesses but added they don’t believe there is any danger to the general public.

Sunriver police responded shortly before 10:30 a.m. to a report from an anonymous caller of a man apparently bleeding from the neck and walking near the roundabout at South Century and Abbot drives, said Mills.

Two Sunriver officers were checking the area when a second caller reported seeing a bleeding man on the resort’s bike path, near Woodland Lane, Mills said.

Around 11:45 a.m., police found a white male in his mid- to late 30s unresponsive on the bike path near Woodland Lane, the police chief said. Medics with the Sunriver Fire Department determined the man was dead.

Due to the suspicious nature of the death, Sunriver police sought assistance from the Deschutes County sheriff’s, DA’s and medical examiner’s offices as well as Oregon State Police and the OSP Crime Lab, all part of the Major Investigation Team, Mills said in a release Sunday evening.

The man has been identified, the police chief said, but his name is being withheld until his family is notified.

“It is very important that people know that we have no reason to believe that people are in any immediate danger,” Mills wrote in the news release.

Stephen Murtha lives and works in Sunriver. He told NewsChannel 21 on Monday this type of crime is unusual for the resort community. 

Police asked anyone who saw a white male in the Sunriver area appearing to be injured and/or bleeding on Sunday morning to call the sheriff’s office or Sunriver Police Department through the county’s non-emergency line at 541-693-6911.

Mills said earlier Sunday the call about a man bleeding on the bike path led officers to believe it was a possible bicycling accident. However, they arrived to find no bike but a “possible crime scene, spread out because of some blood droppings probably a quarter-mile, which has complicated” the investigation.

“There are some oddities we’re all working together to try to figure out,” Mills said at the time, but he stressed, “We don’t believe we have anybody out here running around that is a danger to the public.”

Mills said he could not yet reveal specifics about the nature or cause of death, or confirm or deny scanner reports of the man having stab wounds, but said a weapon was recovered at the scene.

He said they likely would be able to say later “if it involves anybody else or self-inflicted. We’re working it as a homicide, mainly because we’ve got a question about how this individual died. We’re putting it all together as best we can.”

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