A man law enforcement suspects killed a Forest Grove grandmother has been arrested, detectives say.
Kamen Baer, 38, was taken into custody in the 100 block of Southeast 26th Avenue in Hillsboro Thursday after officers executed a search warrant.
Forest Grove police say Baer murdered 54-year-old Cynthia Belton in her home at College Place Apartments last month.
Officers discovered Belton dead in her apartment March 19 when they arrived for a welfare check. Police considered the death suspicious.
Later that month, Belton’s neighbors described her as “compassionate and giving”.
Residents at the complex said she was a woman with a big heart who volunteered with the homeless and knit hats for her neighbor’s children.
John Vella, a neighbor who spoke with FOX 12 earlier this month, said he knew something was up around March 16. He said he hadn't seen Belton for days but could hear her dog, Scooter, barking from inside her apartment.
Police haven’t said how Belton died and it's not clear how Baer is connected to her.
Police say Baer, a transient, has been lodged at the Washington County Jail.
The department considers the case an open investigation and has not released any additional information.
Forest Grove detectives arrested Baer with the assistance of the Washington County Major Crimes Team, Washington County Tactical Negotiations Team, Oregon State Police and the Hillsboro Police Department.
Following his arrest, a judge granted the prosecution's request to dismiss the charges in this case. A specific reason for the dismissal request was not clear, with court documents stating, "State elects not to proceed."
Baer was then arrested by Tualatin police in a separate case on sex abuse charges. Police said that arrest is in connection with a 2013 case. Baer is a registered sex offender from a sex abuse conviction in 2013. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison following that conviction.
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