PENDLETON - A man sought in the vicious attack of a woman and the stabbing murder of another was captured Wednesday evening while trying to hide in the Pendleton Convention Center.
Lukah Pobzeb Chang, 23, was spotted by food service workers about 6 p.m. who recognized him from photos in news stories, said Chief Stuart Roberts.
Karen Lange, 53, was upgraded to serious condition at OHSU after she was beaten in the head with a pipe in Pendleton. Chang was identified as a person of interest in the case.
Roberts said Thursday morning that Chang was a Marine deserter from Morganton, N.C. He left the Marine base in Camp Pendleton, Calif., by Greyhound last year and ran out of money in Pendleton, Ore.
He had served four years in the Marine Corps. None of his service was overseas, the chief said. He previously had gone by the alias Danny Wu. Police had been having difficulty identifying him.
Officers from the city, Umatilla county sheriff's office and the Oregon State Police responded quickly to reports of his sighting, Roberts said.
Police secured the building and heard sounds suggesting Chang was on the second of three stories, Roberts said. Without the resources to stop all escape routes, a decision was made to get all civilians out of the building and call out additional officers.
Police armed with assault rifles captured him after about 8 p.m. after a leg was seen dangling from a ceiling. Officers and a K-9 swarmed to the spot and found Chang hiding by some duct work.
He was taken into custody without incident, the chief said. Police determined he had been hiding in the building for a week.
Chang was also sought by police as a person of interest in the August 2012 stabbing death of 19-year-old Amy Jane Brandhagen.
Karen Lange's husband, Dan Lange, told KGW News on Wednesday night that he was relieved by the news of Chang's arrest.
"To capture the fellow that did this is just a great relief, not only for myself and my family but for the community of Pendleton," Lange said. "This individual is going to spend the rest of his life struggling with what he did and for that I dont envy him."
After his capture, Chang was accused of murder for the Brandhagen death and attempted murder in the Lange case.