Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Murder accusation dropped in Happy Valley death

Murder accusation dropped in Happy Valley death

The Clackamas County sheriff's office announced Sunday that the death of Deborah Sue Wallace, 44, "was not the result of homicidal violence."

David Ross Updike, 42, taken into custody Saturday on an accusation of murder, has been released from jail, said acting spokesman Lt. Jeff Davis.

An autopsy was done Sunday on Wallace and results are pending, Davis said.

He said investigators went back to the home where her body was found and now "the death of Deborah Sue Wallace remains under investigation with the cooperation of the Oregon State Police Forensic Laboratory and the office of the State Medical Examiner."

Deputies were sent to the home at 8525 S.E. Orchard Lane, No. 27 late Saturday morning and called out homicide detectives.

Police said Updike has a lengthy criminal record of assault, menacing and harassment related to domestic violence.

Neighbor Beverely Taylor, said Wallace came over a week ago with a black eye. The couple had lived in their home for about six years and neighbors often witnessed arguments.

"I think he just went.. pop and punched her," Taylor said. " I don't think he meant to hit her quite that hard but we kept her that night and put ice on it, and let her sleep on our couch."

The couple lived in a small community that included several deaf residents.

Vena Adkins said she often felt helpless watching the couple.

"I have tried to help her," she said, "they're both deaf, and I'm an interpreter for the deaf . . . she was just a sweet wonderful lady."

Dispatchers first sent deputies there shortly before noon, said Sheriff's Office spokesman Det. Jim Strovink. After their arrival, the detectives were called, he said.

Further information was not available.