On the morning of October 5, Washington County Sheriff’s deputies received a call from a concerned citizen to check on the welfare of Jacqueline Bell, 71, residing in the 10200 block of NW Lee Street in the community of Cedar Mill.
Sheriff’s Deputies arrived and observed suspicious circumstances and entered Ms. Bell’s residence. They found her deceased from what appeared to be homicidal violence. Investigators believe the crime occurred in the early morning hours of October 5, 2013.
Deputies secured the scene and the Washington County Major Crimes Team responded to assist with the investigation. The Washington County Forensics Science Unit responded assisted by Oregon State Police (OSP) Forensics to gather evidence and process the scene.
That same morning at 8:05 a.m., an OSP Senior Trooper was notified of a driving complaint eastbound on Interstate 84 near milepost 251. A commercial truck driver complained that a green four-door sedan was driving between the travel lanes and almost rear-ended a commercial truck and trailer.
The trooper located a 2006 Lexus ES350 that matched the description at mile post 260 and after observing reckless driving, attempted a traffic stop. The Lexus accelerated to speeds reaching 135 mph. The Lexus took exit 273 and slowed as it re-entered Interstate 84 eastbound. The trooper took advantage of the slower speed and performed a Tactical Vehicle Intervention causing the Lexus to spin out. The trooper was able to pin the driver’s door closed with the front of his patrol car. The right front passenger, later identified as Micus D. Ward, 19, from Kansas City, fled the vehicle and was captured a short time later by another trooper.
The driver was unable to flee out the left front door and was captured without further incident. The driver was identified as Jodah H. Cain, 17, who resided with his great-grandmother, Jacqueline Bell. The Lexus was registered to Ms. Bell at the Cedar Mill address. The trooper contacted the Washington County Sheriff’s Office to inquire if Ms. Bell knew where her car was and who was driving it.
Troopers detained the two men while deputies were investigating the welfare of Ms. Bell. The information about the traffic stop from OSP was relayed to the Sheriff’s Office just prior to the deputies making entry into Ms. Bell’s home.
Investigators have discovered evidence that leads them to accuse Mr. Cain and Mr. Ward of killing Ms. Bell then stealing her Lexus to flee back to Kansas City where they both recently lived. A motive is not known at this time. The Medical Examiners Office confirmed the cause of death to be blunt force trauma.
Oregon State Police Criminal Investigations Division Detectives assisted a great deal in this case. The OSP crime lab in Pendleton is processing the Lexus for possible evidence. Oregon State Police Detectives lodged Mr. Ward in the Union County Jail and Mr. Cain was transported to a juvenile detention facility in The Dalles.
The Washington County Major Crimes Team is working directly with OSP Detectives to coordinate interviews and potential criminal charges.
Mr. Cain is currently in the custody of Washington County Juvenile Services with Washington County charges pending. Mr. Ward is currently held at the Union County Jail with Washington County charges pending. It has not been determined when he will be transported to the Washington County Jail.
The Washington County charges against Mr. Cain and Mr. Ward have not been determined at this time.
This case is ongoing as leads are followed up on and additional evidence is processed.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance in this case. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call 503-846-2500.