Arrest made in connection to search for missing man on OR coast - KPTV - FOX 12

Arrest made in connection to search for missing man on OR coast

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Donald Lawyer III, manslaughter suspect, booking photo Donald Lawyer III, manslaughter suspect, booking photo
Missing man Michael Lanpheare Missing man Michael Lanpheare

One person has been arrested in connection to the search for a missing man on the Oregon coast.

Lincoln County deputies were searching the area around Seal Rock on Thursday looking for a missing man, known to be a transient, after his abandoned vehicle was found in a state park wayside off Highway 101.

The vehicle was discovered on Wednesday.

The missing man was identified Friday as Michael Lanpheare, 37, of Newport.

Investigators said there were suspicious circumstances about the state of the car and the surrounding area that had them investigating the possibility that a crime had been committed.

On Friday afternoon, detectives said it appears the missing man had been pushed off rocks in the area. He had still not been found, but deputies did locate some of his belongings.

One man already in custody was charged with manslaughter Friday in connection to Lanpheare's disappearance.

Donald Lawyer III, 35, from Pennsylvania, was first taken into custody at 7 a.m. Wednesday. Deputies said he was naked and covered in blood on Highway 101 in Seal Rock.

Deputies said he was believed to be under the influence of drugs and was bleeding from minor injuries on his body. He was initially uncooperative with deputies, before being taken to a Newport hospital for treatment of hypothermia.

Doctors said he was on unidentified controlled substances at the time.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said Lawyer left the hospital prior to a mental health evaluation. He was later located at a Newport home and taken back into police protective custody.

He was returned to the hospital, given an evaluation and then arrested and booked in the Lincoln County Jail on the charge of second-degree disorderly conduct.

Further investigation connected Lawyer to the disappearance of Lanpheare, according to the sheriff's office. Deputies said based on a statement made by Lawyer and evidence found during the search for Lanpheare, he was arrested on the charge of second-degree manslaughter.

No other details were revealed. Lawyer's bail was set at $300,000.

The search for Lanpheare continues along the shoreline of Lincoln County.

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