HILLSBORO, Ore. — A retired Oregon City veterinarian awaiting trial on a stalking charge has now been charged with murder after he allegedly killed the man he was barred from contacting, according to police and court documents.
Willamette Week reported in September on the ongoing saga of alleged harassment and abuse. An Oregon City man named Kenneth Fandrich, 56, had filed for a series of stalking orders against Steven Milner, 55, a retired animal surgeon.
Around this time, Fandrich filed a lawsuit against Milner, accusing him of inflicting emotional harm, trespassing and negligence.
"Defendant intentionally engaged in a psychotic campaign intended to threaten, intimidate, frighten, and harass plaintiff, in substantial part because defendant had an affair with plaintiff’s wife when she was defendant’s employee," the complaint states.
Willamette Week reported that Fandrich's wife used to work with Milner at his veterinary clinic. When the affair ended, the alleged harassment began.
Included in the complaint was a still image from surveillance video purporting to show Milner outside of Fandrich's house, placing a GPS tracker on his vehicle.
"Defendant, a former surgeon, specifically threatened to cut plaintiff’s body into pieces, and on or around March 1, 2022, defendant followed plaintiff from his residence, all the way to a gas station many miles away," the lawsuit alleges. "The police were called, and the Court ultimately entered a stalking protective order in favor of plaintiff, against defendant."
The civil accusations culminated in criminal charges against Milner for that GPS tracker incident — or one like it — in violation of the existing stalking order. At the time, a judge ordered that Milner have no contact with Fandrich.
That criminal case was scheduled to go to trial in early March.
But according to a statement from Hillsboro police on Wednesday, those court orders were not enough to prevent Fandrich's murder at Milner's hands.
On Friday evening, officers from the Hillsboro Police Department were called to an Intel parking garage near the Ronler Acres campus, where they found Fandrich dead inside of his vehicle, according to the agency. Fandrich was a contractor working at the campus that day.
An autopsy conducted on Fandrich the next day confirmed that he had been murdered, though police said that his cause of death remains under investigation.
On Tuesday, Hillsboro detectives contacted Milner in Clackamas County and arrested him in connection with Fandrich's murder.
"Milner has a stalking order in Clackamas County prohibiting him from having contact with Fandrich," the agency said. "The investigation reveals a history of problematic interactions between the two."
Court records suggest that Milner had continued a pattern of violating the previous court orders in the lead-up to Fandrich's death, "engaging in repeated and unwanted contact" between Dec. 13 and the day Fandrich's body was found.
Hillsboro police said that the case remains under investigation, and anyone with information related to the case is asked to contact HPD's detective division at (503) 681-6175.
This is a developing story and will be updated with more details as they emerge.