Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


Murder suspect remains at large

by: VERN UYETAKE - Flowers sit across from the home of the Hayes family on Tuesday. Frederick 'Fritz' Wheeler Hayes Jr. died after being attacked by an intruder Monday morning.The search continued Wednesday for a man who allegedly murdered Frederick “Fritz” Wheeler Hayes Jr. at his Lake Oswego home Monday morning.

Hayes, 57, was stabbed to death by an intruder in his house on Atwater Road at about 6:30 a.m. Monday, as he returned from walking his two beagles. His wife, 56-year-old Margaret “Maggie” Hayes, who was also home at the time, was not injured.

The suspect remains on the loose.

Fritz Hayes, who recently retired from his job as a high-tech engineer, moved to Lake Oswego in 1983 and a few years later into the home he had built on Atwater Road for his family, including his wife and their three children, now adults. Their house is near Country Club Road in the Forest Highlands neighborhood.by: ALL TECH 1 - Frederick 'Fritz' Hayes

His sister, Ruth Hayes-Arista, said a service is planned for 2 p.m. Sunday in the chapel at Oregon Episcopal School, at 6300 S.W. Nicol Road in Portland. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Oregon Humane Society and Oregon Food Bank have been suggested.

Hayes-Arista said her brother was known for being kind, determined, intelligent and very loyal to family and friends.

“He always made time to help others, from his immediate family to neighbors and the community,” she said. “He did his best to be a great dad and husband, brother and son. He also believed it was important to be involved in the community, and showed this by serving on boards, such as the Anna Wheeler Hayes Foundation.”

While he enjoyed sailing and kayaking and was a passionate supporter of lacrosse, serving on the board of the Oregon Lacrosse Officials Association, she said, his biggest hobby was spending time with “his best friend and wife, Maggie.”

Their kids went to Oregon Episcopal School. Other survivors include his parents, his three sisters and their spouses, and many aunts, uncles and cousins who live in the area.

The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office is working to identify the killer and has released a sketch of the suspect, who is described as a slender white man between 20 and 40 years old. He’s about 6 feet tall with sharp features and a brown beard and was reportedly wearing a head scarf or head wrap and light-colored clothing on Monday morning.by: CLACKAMAS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - Authorities have released this sketch of the suspect in Monday morning's murder in Lake Oswego.

The sheriff’s office launched a concentrated effort to find the intruder Monday, with police and tracking dogs searching on the ground and an air unit looking for the suspect from above. Sgt. Adam Phillips said about 20 detectives were working in Lake Oswego that day along with their supervisors, crime scene reconstructionists, crime scene technicians and deputies, as well as support staff helping from their offices.

The investigation continued Tuesday and Wednesday with detectives gathering and reviewing video surveillance footage from area businesses, following up on tips, interviewing and re-interviewing potential witnesses and continuing to search areas in and around Lake Oswego.

“They are searching areas they’ve already searched once but with a fresh set of eyes,” Phillips said. “This was an all-out effort to catch the guy that murdered Frederick Hayes.”

Phillips said the crime still appears to be a rare example of stranger-on-stranger violence. He stressed the importance of community safety.

“We have nothing to indicate the suspect and Mr. Hayes had any prior relationship at all,” he said. “We would encourage everybody to practice good safety precautions when they’re at home or out and about. ... Know your surroundings, and make good choices.

“We have a murderer out there.”

The Hayeses’ home sits in a pocket of unincorporated Clackamas County that is surrounded by neighborhoods within city limits.

Chris Robinson, chairman of the Forest Highlands Neighborhood Association, said the murder shocked residents. Even smaller crimes like burglaries are rare in the area.

“It’s been pretty quiet and pretty safe,” he said. “This is pretty surprising.”

Neighbors typically look out for one another, too, he said — picking up newspapers when people are away and generally keeping an eye out for anything out of the ordinary. However, he added, there is quite a bit of wooded property that could provide cover for someone trying to hide.

Lake Oswego Police Capt. Dale Jorgensen said officers are supporting the county’s efforts and responding to local calls about anything suspicious. He noted that police also decided to step up patrols in the general area and around Forest Hills Elementary School, Lake Oswego Junior High and Lake Oswego High School, which were following lockdown procedures in the hours following the murder.

The public schools lifted the lockdown by mid-morning Monday, although Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School, which also followed emergency procedures that day, stayed locked down until students were dismissed in the afternoon.

About 40 students were absent from Forest Hills Elementary School on Monday, although some came to class later in the day, said Nancy Duin, the school district’s communications director. On Tuesday, one high school student missed class because the assailant was still at large, and three students were absent at Forest Hills for that reason, she said. No junior high students missed classes Tuesday because of the murder case.

Duin said the district is in constant communication with the sheriff’s office and the police department.

“Administration and staff are always alert to the presence of any strangers on campus, and are extra-vigilant given these events,” she said. “Teachers and staff, especially at Forest Hills, are also alert to the emotional impact of these events on students, and have focused on keeping routines calm and normal to head off any anxiety.”

‘A good friend’

As the investigation continues, friends, family members and neighbors are coping with their grief.

On Tuesday, the Lake Oswego City Council held a moment of silence in recognition of the crime.

“Although this senseless act of violence happened just outside the bounds of Lake Oswego,” Mayor Jack Hoffman said, “our community is deeply grieved by this loss.”

Hayes most recently worked at Tigard-based All Tech 1.

“He was more than an employee and coworker,” company President Robert McMillen said in a statement he issued about Hayes’ death. “He was a brilliant engineer and a caring mentor, and most of all a good friend.”

McMillen said the two worked together for more than 10 years, including six years at All Tech 1 — until Hayes retired a few months ago. They met while working at a different company in 2001.

“After starting at All Tech 1, I had the opportunity to hire Fritz to join our team and together, with the staff at our new company, we built a business together we were very proud of.”

Around the time of his retirement, Hayes “was as happy as we had ever seen him as he was planning his well-deserved time off,” McMillen said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and he will be sorely missed.”

The loss also dealt a blow to Oregon’s lacrosse community.

“We’re all just devastated,” said Jill Josselyn, who grew to know Hayes about 15 years ago, when their children went to OES together. Both also worked as boys high school lacrosse officials. In addition, she’s in charge of the state’s youth officiating program, and Hayes was one of the program’s instructors.

“He really enthused passion for the sport,” said Josselyn, who lives in Portland. “When he taught, he just projected that to the kids in a manner that connected with them really easily.”

He also performed the typically thankless duty of refereeing lacrosse games, she said, and he was always willing to step up to officiate games that were far away.

“Fritz was the type of person who would always step forward when he saw someone struggling or confused, and he would help them out in the nicest, most congenial manner — whether it was a 10-year-old trying to figure out a play, high school kids working with strategies or youth officials trying to understand how to conduct a face-off.

“He helped out in every way that he could. He was just an awesome go-to person.”

— Drew Dakessian contributed to this story.

Tips sought

A poster with information about the suspect is available online at clackamas.us/sheriff. If you see the suspect, call 9-1-1.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to contact the confidential tip line at 503-723-4949, or by using the online email form at co.clackamas.or.us/sheriff/tip. Reference Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office case #12-27845.

You can also submit tips with text messages to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office from a cellphone. Send a text message to CRIMES (274637) with the keyword CCSO as the first word in the message body.

Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to

an arrest in this case, and you can remain anonymous.

Leave a Crime Stoppers tip online at www.crimestoppersoforegon.com, text CRIMES (274637) and in the subject line put 823HELP followed by your tip, or call 503-823-HELP (4357) and leave your tip information.



Local Weather

Mostly Cloudy

55°F

Lake Oswego

Mostly Cloudy

Humidity: 83%

Wind: 7 mph

  • 31 Oct 2014

    Partly Cloudy 57°F 44°F

  • 1 Nov 2014

    Partly Cloudy 56°F 45°F