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Milwaukie boy charged with Lincoln City murder

Police believe Joseph Marsala, 17, fled Oregon Coast after victim's death

A 17-year-old boy from Milwaukie has been charged with with a weekend murder on the Oregon Coast.

Joseph Marsala, 17, was arrested in Milwaukie on Monday at 1:30 a.m. by the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.

On Wednesday, the Lincoln County District Attorney's office released Marsala's formal charges, alleging that he hit 49-year-old Darrin Dow, of Tigard, over the head with a garden hoe and stabbed him in the neck and stomach with a knife. Marsala is also accused of stealing Dow's wallet, which contained credit cards and more than $100 in cash.

After receiving a tip by phone from a Marsala family member, the Lincoln City Police Department found the body of Dow, who had been killed in a home that he owned in Lincoln City. The family member is said to have called to report that Marsala had assaulted a man in a manner consistent with an eye-witness report.

According to a sworn affidavit by Portland Police Officer Charles Lane, the witness saw Marsala assault and kill a man at a house in Lincoln City. Police determined the house was 2144 N.E. Reef, where they found Dow with injuries consistent with those described on the phone call to the Portland Police Bureau.

'Police recovered evidence that Mr. Marsala was at the victim's residence, that Marsala had assaulted the victim and that the manner of death is consistent with the witness and family member's statement,' Lane said.

Investigations by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office have indicated that Dow was killed on Saturday June 25, and that Marsala fled Lincoln City in the victim's vehicle after the murder.

The Portland Police Bureau found Dow's SUV parked near the intersection of Northeast 18th Avenue and Davis Street. Inside, investigators found evidence of a crime, but they are not elaborating whether the vehicle is being held as evidence of a possible theft or murder.

Marsala was lodged in Lincoln County's juvenile detention facility on Tuesday morning, and was arraigned on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. Bail was set at $2 million, and Marsala's next court appearance may occur earlier than the hearing scheduled for Tuesday, July 5, at 4:30 p.m.