Man arrested for Motel 6 murder in Southeast Portland

Person of interest in motel death found

PORTLAND, Ore. – A man has been arrested and charged with murder in connection with the death of a 42-year-old woman at a Southeast Portland Motel 6.

Joshua Carlson, 31, was booked into the Multnomah County Jail Friday night on charges of murder and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

The victim was identified as Valerie Johnson, of Portland. The state medical examiner determined her cause of death was strangulation. 

An investigation began when Johnson's body was Friday morning in a room at the motel, located at 3104 SE Powell Blvd.

Before the body was found, police officers near the motel were involved in a brief chase Friday morning after seeing a stolen vehicle speed away, according to Sgt. Chris Burley. Officers stopped chasing the vehicle out of safety concerns for the community.


Officers later found the stolen vehicle in the 4000 block of Southeast 51st Avenue. No one was inside.

At 1:30 p.m. Friday, a woman who lives nearby called 911 to report a suspicious man in a yard near Southeast 52nd Avenue and Francis Street. After hearing the woman's description of the man, police believed the man, later identified as Carlson, was the one who drove the stolen vehicle earlier that morning and was a person of interest in the death investigation.

The bureau's Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) responded to the neighborhood, along with police negotiators. They spotted Carlson on a roof and used a ladder provided by Portland Fire & Rescue to bring him down and take him into custody.

Carlson was booked into jail and charged Friday night.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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