METZGER, Ore. – The man found dead after deputies responded to a report of someone being attacked with a shovel Wednesday is being remembered as “a pillar in the Muslim community.”
Family and friends, who spent the day gathered at 68-year-old Abdul Jamil Kamawal’s home in Metzger, were too devastated to go on camera but said he was “the type of person you could ask for anything.”
During his nearly 22-year career as a survey technician with Washington County, they say he worked tirelessly to help refugees settle in the Portland area.
Anyone who knew Kamawal has no idea why someone would ever want to harm him, let alone kill him.
But investigators with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office say that’s exactly what 27-year-old Michael Troxell did.
The California native, who was staying with family in the area, faced a judge Thursday afternoon, charged with murder.
Deputies say he killed Kamawal Wednesday. They found him near the body, which was covered in straw.
They say Troxell was doing construction work outside Kamawal’s house, one of a few that sits on his Metzger property. Beyond that, deputies don’t believe the two knew each other.
At this point they know of no motive and no witnesses, and they are waiting on autopsy results to determine whether the shovel, also recovered at the scene, was used in the murder.
Troxell is being held without bail, and is due back in court on Thursday, February 18.
Andrew Singelakis, Director of the Washington County Department of Land Use & Transportation, released the following statement about Kamawal’s death:
Jamil Kamawal, a retired survey technician from Washington County Department of Land Use &Transportation (LUT), was killed Wednesday (Feb. 10, 2016).
Most LUT employees learned of Jamil's death this morning. Though he retired more than 10 years ago, he is remembered with affection by many. Several people have recalled the pride Jamil took in becoming an American citizen. He often went back to Afghanistan help rebuild his home village of Kama, and he founded two non-profit organizations – the Afghan Aid Association and the Oregon-based Kama Relief Corp. Both organizations are dedicated to rebuilding lives and communities in Afghanistan. Employees are speaking about how kind Jamil was; former coworkers have said that working with Jamil made them better, kinder people.
Jamil was an outstanding member of both his American and Afghanistan communities, a wonderful family man, and a fantastic member of the LUT community. He worked with us as a survey technician from 1985 to 2007.
His death is a terrible tragedy. Washington County, and LUT in particular, extend our condolences to his family, friends and the Portland-area Muslim community.
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