Murder charges filed against two people in killing of Newport ma - KPTV - FOX 12

Murder charges filed against two people in killing of Newport man

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Adeena Copell booking photo (Clatsop County Jail) Adeena Copell booking photo (Clatsop County Jail)
Christian Wilkins booking photo (Clatsop County Jail) Christian Wilkins booking photo (Clatsop County Jail)
CLATSOP COUNTY, OR (KPTV) -

Two Clatsop County residents have been charged in the killing of a Newport man after the pair were apprehended in Arizona.

The Clatsop County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday that murder charges have been filed against Christian Wilkins, 37, and Adeena Copell, 40, tied to the death of Howard Vinge, whose body was found wrapped up along the side of Highway 30 just east of Astoria Friday.

Investigators with the Clatsop County Major Crime Team had been searching for Wilkins and Copell for several days when troopers with the Arizona Department of Public Safety stopped the pair in a car owned by Vinge.

Two detectives, one from the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office and another from the Seaside Police Department, flew to Arizona to gather more information for the investigation.

Wilkins and Copell were arraigned on charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in a Flagstaff court Wednesday morning, with bail being set at $150,000 each and an extradition hearing being scheduled for Friday.

Authorities said Wilkins and Copell had recently begun a relationship with Vinge. According to the state medical examiner's office, Vinge died from blunt force trauma to the back of his head on or around September 27.

Investigators are also searching for a man and woman in a black car that may have seen the suspects disposing of the victim’s body near mile marker 92 on Highway 30 last month. These people are asked to call authorities as soon as possible at 503-325-2061.

The Clatsop county District Attorney’s Office noted that if convicted, the two suspects could face life sentences for the murder charges.

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