Police locate human remains at Beaverton woman’s home, son arres - KPTV - FOX 12

Police locate human remains at Beaverton woman’s home, son arrested

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Matthew Gutierrez in court Tuesday. Matthew Gutierrez in court Tuesday.
Matthew Gutierrez, jail booking photo Matthew Gutierrez, jail booking photo
Prior jail booking photos of Matthew Gutierrez Prior jail booking photos of Matthew Gutierrez
Katherine McDowell (Photo released by Beaverton Police Department) Katherine McDowell (Photo released by Beaverton Police Department)
BEAVERTON, OR (KPTV) -

Police have located remains they believe to be of a Beaverton woman at her home a day after her son was arrested on the charge of abuse of a corpse.

"It's just, I can't believe it," said neighbor, Shani Gettle. "I'm still in complete shock."

Officers responded to a request for a welfare check on 57-year-old Katherine McDowell at her home in the 11500 block of Southwest 11th Street at 3:33 p.m. Monday.

Once they arrived, officers spoke with McDowell’s daughter, who had called requesting the welfare check, as well as her son.

During the course of the investigation, McDowell’s 24-year-old son, Matthew Gutierrez, was arrested on the charge of abuse of a corpse, according to a Beaverton Police Department spokesman, after police said he claimed that he burned his mother’s body in a backyard fire pit.

"We definitely smelled a fire burning," said Gettle. 

Officers searched the property Tuesday with the assistance of the Washington County Sheriff's Office Forensics Unit and the Washington County Medical Examiner's Office.

During that search, detectives found remains that have since been confirmed to be human. Police said the investigation is ongoing but added that they believe the remains to be those of McDowell.

"You just remember seeing her just weeks ago and you just can't believe it happened to her, that she's not here anymore," said Gettle. 

Gutierrez is currently being held in the Washington County Jail.

Police confirmed Gutierrez has been arrested twice since January 2016 on allegations of domestic harassment involving his family, including an arrest in March involving his mother. 

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