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Murder suspect said death was suicide, led police to woman's body
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Murder suspect said death was suicide, led police to woman's body

A Blodgett man who is accused of murdering his girlfriend told his father and authorities she had committed suicide by driving her vehicle down an embankment off Marys Peak Road.

James Loren Anderson, 34, led Benton County Sheriff’s Office deputies to the body of Angela Christian, 33, and her vehicle on Friday, court paperwork states.

But that same night, Christian’s father went to check on her at her Albany residence and found blood inside the home, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Five Mile Ranch in Beatty, Oregon, is in ruin after the Bootleg Fire scorched through the farm.

Officers canvassed the neighborhood surrounding the 1300 block of Hood Street Southeast in Albany to see for possible suspicious circumstances, and a neighbor reported hearing a female screaming in the area and what sounded like pounding for about 30 minutes at 7:30 a.m. Thursday.

On Friday morning, an Albany Police Department officer who was investigating the case discovered Christian’s place of work, and found that she had called in sick to work via text message at about 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, according to court paperwork. “Angela’s supervisor attempted to call Angela, but she did not answer his phone calls and made excuses via text why she could not talk,” the affidavit states.

Anderson told police Friday morning that Christian picked him up in her vehicle at about 11 a.m. on Thursday in Philomath and they went to Marys Peak. When he got out of the vehicle to urinate, she drove away. Anderson said he waited around for a couple of hours then walked down the mountain until he could get a ride to his father’s house, according to the affidavit. In a subsequent interview with authorities that day, he added that she committed suicide by driving off an embankment.

The friend who picked Anderson up in the Marys Peak area told investigators that he drove Anderson to the area of Christian’s residence in Albany, so Anderson could pick up his Chevrolet Aveo.

While interviewing Anderson, a detective noticed that his right hand, which he wrote with, was abnormally swollen compared to his left hand, the affidavit states.

A Benton County deputy medical examiner who responded to the scene where Christian was found indicated that Christian had sustained injuries to her head and face before her death, according to the affidavit.

Anderson was charged with second-degree murder in Linn County Circuit Court on Monday for the death of Christian, and he was ordered to be held in jail without bail.

A prosecutor also said Monday that Anderson was violating a no-contact order in a previous domestic assault case in which he threatened to kill Christian with a baseball bat.

In that matter, which remains active, Anderson is charged with strangulation, unlawful use of a weapon, fourth-degree assault and menacing. The crimes allegedly occurred June 28, and all of the charges are labeled as domestic violence.

Anderson was released from the Linn County Jail on June 29 after paying 10% of his $6,000 security, or $600.

If you or someone you know is struggling with domestic violence or a domestic violence-related issue, contact CARDV at 541-754-0110.

Kyle Odegard can be contacted at 541-812-6077 or kyle.odegard@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter via @KyleOdegard.

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