Fellow volunteers remember Belmont murder victim - KPTV - FOX 12

Fellow volunteers remember Belmont murder victim

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Friends and fellow volunteers are remembering a woman who was found dead in a southeast Portland apartment two weeks ago.

On July 10, police found the body of 32-year-old Nikayla Powell in her apartment on Southeast Belmont Street. Last Thursday, authorities arrested 39-year-old Mark Beebout in the killing.

Powell met Beebout through Operation Nightwatch, a program based at St. Stephen's Episcopal Parish. The church gives homeless people a place to socialize in the evenings.

Beebout was a regular guest of the program and Powell started volunteering there six months ago.

Longtime volunteer Larry Bishop is stunned by the news of Powell's death. He said she was kind and generous.

"She was a very good volunteer and everybody liked her," he said.

All "Operation Nightwatch" volunteers go through training and a policy is in place that prohibits fraternizing with guests outside of program hours.

But police said Powell invited Beebout to stay with her.

"I don't understand why she invited him back to her house because you're not suppose to do that,"  said Bishop.

On July 19, members of the U.S. Marshal's Washington Fugitive task force arrested Beebout in Seattle.  Officials said they found him with Powell's dog and they believe he also stole her car and credit cards.

On Tuesday, Beebout waived extradition so he will return to Oregon very soon.

Inside the hospitality room at St. Stephen's, a picture of Powell is on display next to a vase of red roses.  Bishop said her death is a painful loss.

"We feel hurt, for the family and her, and we give her our best prayers," he said.
Powell's friends are organizing a vigil to honor her memory on Tuesday, July 31 at 6 p.m. in Laurelhurst Park.  The public is invited to attend.

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