PORTLAND—Karen Lange suffered brain damage after she was beaten in the head with a pipe earlier this month while walking along a river trail in Pendleton.
Dan Lange says his wife and mother of two is a fighter and is slowly recovering. She’s unresponsive and in critical condition at OHSU He hopes opened up about the ordeal and hopes to find the person responsible.
Background: Woman taken to OHSU after Pendleton assault
“She's a tremendous musician, just a natural vocal ability,” he said. “That kind of talent and just the way she was made her very popular in Pendleton.”
But now, Karen can't even talk to her husband of 33 years.
"It was such a tough go for Karen. She's got ahead of herself a long recovery. This guy was out to kill her,” Dan said. “That's what the police said, they were sure he had left her for dead.”
Surveillance cameras captured a man in the area where the attack happened. Police believe the man is a transient named Danny Wu (pictured right).
What comes as an even bigger shock to the Lange family is DNA evidence from Karen’s attack ties Wu to a 2012 Pendleton murder.
Amy-Jane Branhagen, 19, was stabbed to death while working at a Travelodge motel. Ironically, Karen Lange gave piano lessons to Branhagen's sister Now Dan prays that the very attack that nearly took away the love of his life somehow brings closure to a family that is living with the biggest loss imaginable.
"Anyway that we can get this guy off the street, we need to do that,” he said. “I know that Karen would want that murder solved. It's a big sacrifice to make but to have that murder solved is so important.”
Dan says doctors expect his wife to make a full recovery but it will take time.
Although evidence connects Danny Wu to both cases, police are calling him a person of interest because there isn't enough evidence to call him an official suspect.
Police do not know where Wu is but they say he is extremely dangerous. Anyone with information on his whereabouts was asked to call Pendleton police at 541-276-4411.