By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes
The family of deceased Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Kelly Fredinburg are offering a reward for the man police believe is responsible for the fatal 2007 crash.
Authorities believe the suspect fled to Mexico shortly after he was released from a Portland hospital and are pursuing what is known as an Article 4 prosecution. Alfredo de Jesus-Ascencio, now 25, was indicted in 2007 here in Oregon for criminally negligent homicide. While the crimes are not eligible for extradition, Mexican law allows for prosecution of Mexican nationals who commit crimes in other countries and then return to Mexico. A warrant for his arrest has been issued there.
Oregon State Police, Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the county’s district attorney have been working on the case behind the scenes for several years, they announced Monday at a press conference.
After determining prosecution in Oregon was an unlikely outcome – the defendant would have had to voluntarily come back to the state – representatives from the DA’s office and MCSO met with the California Department of Justice and an official from Mexico’s Office of Attorney General in January 2010. In October 2010 OSP officers presented their case to Mexico’s AG in Mexico City. A warrant was issued a year later.
Recently Mexican authorities detained a suspect, but later determined they did not have de Jesus Ascencio. The suspect may be in or around the state of Michoacan.
Fredinburg’s family has also set up the Oregon Officer Reward Fund, which will provide cash rewards for helping law enforcement arrest people involved in connection with line-of-duty police injury and death investigations. Its website is oorf.info.
According to police, Fredinburg was on duty, driving southbound on Highway 99E to a call in Gervais late June 16, 2007, with lights and siren on when a northbound white Ford Crown Victoria driven by de Jesus-Ascencio came across the center lane into Fredinburg’s path.
The vehicles crashed head-on, with Fredinburg’s patrol vehicle overturning and catching fire. Fredinburg was pronounced dead on the scene. He was 33 years old. A passenger in the vehicle, Oscar Ascencio Amaya, 19, died the next day at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU). Authorities do not believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.
De Ascencio, who was 20 at the time, was also taken to OHSU with significant injuries. Don Abar, a deputy district attorney for Marion County, believes he has sought further treatment for his injuries since leaving the hospital.
But de Ascencio checked out of the hospital before authorities could take him into custody on two counts of criminally negligent homicide, and authorities have been seeking him since. He’s a Hispanic male, standing 5’4” tall and was 140 pounds at the time of the crash.
Marion County Sheriff Jason Myers said he believes some of de Jesus-Ascencio’s family members know where he is.
“There’s absolutely a helplessness feeling, but there’s an opportunity for people to step forward and do the right thing,” Myers said.
Fredinburg grew up in the Salem area, and was a graduate of South Salem High School. Prior to joining MCSO in 2006, he was a corrections and patrol deputy in Polk County for eight years. He left behind a wife and two daughters, who were 12 and 3 years old at the time.
Myers said Fredinburg’s death was felt widely, and he’s thankful for the support from other agencies as well as his family.
“Hopefully the victims’ families will find some peace knowing we haven’t given up and that someone will soon come forward with information needed to find and arrest the fugitive,” he said.
The new organization – Oregon Officer Reward Fund – has been established to offer rewards to help find suspects involved in line of duty police officer injury or death criminal investigations. Donations can be made at oorf.org.
“We believe this is one of the first reward funds in the nation for this,” said Kevin Fredinburg, Kelly’s older brother.
He and Kelly used to say they had each other’s backs. The fund was a way to help make sure he fulfilled that promise.
“I’ve got so much anger with the suspect on the loose,” Kevin Fredinburg said. “I can’t relax until he’s caught. I’m going to do everything in my power and this is one thing I can do that is legal to make that happen. … It’s time to close this.”
HOW TO HELP
Anyone with information on the case is asked to come forward. In Oregon call 800-452-7888. Anywhere in the United States, English and Spanish speakers may call 503-823-4357 and reference case 07-28. Residents within Mexico can dial that same number with country code 00. Within Mexico, the Specialized Unit Against Crimes Committed Abroad is 0-1-555-346-1669. Tips can also be emailed to crimetips2OSP@state.or.us.
(YouTube video courtesy user Jzzsxm)Print