Milton-Freewater man pleads guilty in bridge killing - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Milton-Freewater man pleads guilty in bridge killing

Posted: Updated:

1-23-18 UPDATE:

PENDLETON, OR (AP) - A 24-year-old man accused of killing a man under a bridge in Milton-Freewater has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and abuse of a corpse.
  
The East Oregonian reports Conor Dayton was initially charged with murder, which carries a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison. The plea deal he accepted last week comes with a sentencing recommendation of 20 years in prison, double the mandatory minimum for manslaughter.
  
Investigators said Dayton killed Marcos Gutierrez Rodriguez last May and then burned the body to cover up the crime.
  
Dayton is scheduled to be sentenced in April.

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8-3-17 UPDATE:

MILTON-FREEWATER, OR - The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with the Umatilla County District Attorney’s Office has charged
Conor Michael Dayton, age 24, of Milton Freewater in the death of Marcos Jesus Gutierrez Rodriguez.

Detectives from UCSO and other law enforcement agencies, including the Oregon State Police have continued to investigate this case since Gutierrez-Rodriguez’s badly burned body was discovered after a fire under the Eastside Road Bridge near Milton Freewater on the morning of May 22, 2017. The detectives have worked diligently in following investigative leads, interviewing numerous witnesses and persons of interest, and locating and examining
evidence. This work has provided the information and evidence for authorities to charge Conor Dayton with murder.

On July 8, 2017, Dayton admitted that he started the fire that burned Gutierrez-Rodriguez. Dayton claimed that he found Gutierrez-Rodriguez’s deceased body at the location and started the fire to hide his drug use. Since then, authorities have learned, and are alleging that Dayton is responsible for killing Gutierrez-Rodriguez and then burning his body in an attempt to hide evidence.

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5-25-17 UPDATE:

MILTON-FREEWATER, OR - The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to review evidence, conduct interviews and investigate information into the recent death of Marcos Gutierrez-Rodriguez.

Mr. Gutierrez-Rodriguez’s body was discovered at about 1:35 a.m., on Monday, May 22nd after a fire was extinguished under a bridge over the Walla Walla River on Eastside Road in Milton-Freewater.

The scene has been examined by fire and arson investigators from the Sheriff’s Office, the State Fire Marshall’s Office and the Oregon State Police. On Wednesday, May 24th, a post-mortem examination, including toxicology screening was completed by Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office in Clackamas, OR. At this time, no overt signs of criminal activity have been found. We will continue to investigate all relevant leads, and await the results of laboratory tests from items at the scene and the post-mortem exam.

UCSO would like to emphasize that anyone with information regarding this case should contact the Sheriff’s Dispatch at 541-966-3651, and they will release further information when it becomes available.

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5-22-17 ORIGINAL STORY:

MILTON-FREEWATER, OR (AP) - Authorities say a burned body was found at a homeless camp in eastern Oregon.

Firefighters and Umatilla County sheriff's deputies responded early Monday to the blaze under a bridge along the Walla Walla River in Milton-Freewater.

The sheriff's office says the body was discovered after the trash-and-wood fire was extinguished.

The identity of the badly burned body has not been determined.

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