Suspect arraigned Monday on killing Debbie Higbee-Benton at beauty salon

Police searched a Troutdale woman's home Saturday night, June 4, in connection with the May 28 death of a beauty salon owner in Gladstone.

The Clackamas County Major Crimes Team, with assistance from the East Multnomah County SWAT Team, searched the home of Karen K. Benton in the 1300 block of Southwest 11th Street. Benton is the sister of Gladstone Police Sgt. Lynne Benton, the spouse of Debbie Lee Higbee Benton, who was murdered as she was closing up her Gladstone Beauty Salon on May 28.

Milwaukie Police Officer Ulli Neitch said police found several items in the home that were on the search warrant, although she could not release any information about what was taken because the investigation is ongoing.

Neitch said it's one of numerous search warrants that have been served as part of the investigation, and the only search that's been conducted in East Multnomah County that she's aware of. She said she was not sure if any residents were at the Troutdale home when the search was conducted. No citations, detainments or arrests were made during the search.


Gladstone resident Susan Ellen Campbell was arraigned June 6 in Clackamas County Circuit Court on a murder charge in connection with the May 28 death of beauty salon owner Debbie Higbee-Benton.

The Clackamas County Major Crimes Team arrested 53-year-old Campbell at about 5 p.m. on Friday, June 3, at her Gladstone home.

Campbell was being held with no bail during the weekend by Clackamas County Circuit Judge Steven L. Maurer. A preliminary hearing in the case was set for Monday, June 13.

Campbell appeared somewhat confused at her arraignment via video conference at the Clackamas County Courthouse on Monday and indicated she could not read the documents in front of her. However, she clearly answered the judge's questions.

Campbell is accused of using a handgun to kill Higbee-Benton, 54, as she was closing up her Gladstone Beauty Salon at 430 Portland Ave. on Saturday, May 28. According to court documents, Campbell confessed to the murder after being arrested June 3 by state police, who later found a gun of the same caliber believed to be involved in the case.

Although the incident took place in Gladstone, state and Clackamas County officials were investigating since Higbee-Benton was Sgt. Lynn Benton of the Gladstone Police Department's former domestic partner.

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