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Two teenagers accused in the killing of Jacqueline Bell, a 71-year-old Cedar Mill woman found dead inside her home, were taken into custody following a high-speed chase in Eastern Oregon, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. (OSP photo)
Two arrested in connection with Western Oregon homicide
A high-speed chase resulting in two arrests ended on Interstate 84 outside La Grande Saturday.
Around 8:05 a.m., Oregon State Police received a complaint about an eastbound green four-door sedan driving erratically near milepost 251 on I-84. Senior Trooper Walter Anderson located a 2006 Lexus ES350 matching the description around milepost 260, and after observing reckless driving, attempted a traffic stop. The vehicle accelerated to speeds up to 135 mph.
The Lexus took exit 273 and re-entered the interstate headed east. According to police, the trooper took advantage of the slower speed and performed at tactical vehicle intervention causing the Lexus to spin out. The trooper was then able to pin the driver’s door closed with his patrol car.
The right front passenger, identified as Micus D. Ward, 19, of Kansas City, Mo., fled and was captured quickly by another trooper.
The driver was apprehended without incident and identified as Jodah H. Cain, 17, who resided with his great-grandmother, Jacqueline Bell.
At 8:21 a.m. the same day, Washington County Sheriff’s deputies received a call from a concerned citizen to check the welfare of Bell, 71. She was found deceased from what appeared to be homicidal violence, according to Washington County’s Sgt. Bob Ray. Investigators believe the crime occurred early Saturday morning.
The Lexus driven by Cain was registered to Bell at her Cedar Mill address. OSP troopers contacted the Washington County Sheriff’s Office to inquire if Bell was aware of where her car was. Troopers detained Cain and Ward while investigating into the welfare of Bell. Information about the traffic stop was relayed to Washington County officials just prior to deputies entering Bell’s home.
Investigators believe, after examining evidence, that Cain and Ward may have killed Bell before stealing her Lexus to flee back to Kansas City, where they both recently lived. No motive is known at this time. Medical examiners determined the cause of death was blunt force trauma.
Cain was transported to Washington County Juvenile Services with charges pending. Ward was lodged in the Union County Correctional Facility with charges pending. The case is ongoing.
Sgt. Kyle Hove of the OSP La Grande Area Command said performing a tactical vehicle intervention is a rare but proven tactic.
“I think you just take advantage of the moment,” he said, adding that “We have policies set on it. We do everything we can to not endanger the general public.”
Hove said in the past 10 years, this is maybe the third or fourth time the OSP has used such a tactic in the La Grande area. In this instance, he said it was necessary.