Marion Co. Dist. Attorney's Office
Emergency Messages as of 8:15 pm, Thu. Aug. 17
No information currently posted. Operating as usual.
News Releases
Kroeker Deaths/Hubbard Fire Investigation Concluded - 08/11/17

Investigators have concluded the investigation regarding the January 3, 2017, homicides of Erin, Luke, Braeden and Leia Kroeker, and the January 3, 2017, shooting death of Keith Kroeker. With the assistance of multiple agencies, the Marion County Sheriff's Office conducted a thorough investigation, examined all available evidence, and submitted that investigation to the Marion County District Attorney's Office for review. In consultation with investigators, the Marion County District Attorney's Office has determined that Keith Kroeker is solely responsible for the murders of his wife, Erin Kroeker, and three children, Luke, Braedon, and Leia.

On January 3, 2017, at 03:03 AM, Marion County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of a barn and house fire at 18950 Fobert Road NE, outside the city limits of Hubbard, Marion County. Upon arriving on scene, which is a 3 acre lot, deputies saw that the entire north end of the residence as well as a detached barn located on the northwest corner of the property were both completely engulfed by fire. The Woodburn Fire Department and numerous other fire agencies were already on scene trying to extinguish the fires. The Kroeker family Honda Odyssey van was parked in the residence's attached garage, and the front door was locked. While walking the property deputies discovered cut up pieces of hose between the barn and the residence.

Additionally, a third building on the property- a detached garage- had smoke and fire damage but was not actively burning. Upon entry, deputies found a Ford Mustang parked inside. The Mustang's gas cover was open and a fire had been started directly beneath the open gas cap, which caused the gas cap and the blinds in the garage to melt. Beyond that damage, however, that fire did not spread. Investigators could smell an odor of a flammable liquid, such as gasoline or ethanol when they entered the building.

Due to the three separate ignition points each in a separate building on the property, the cut hose sections, and odors consistent with flammable liquid, investigators determined that the fire was intentionally set.

At approximately 04:36 AM, Woodburn Fire Department advised that they located a body inside the residence. They told deputies that the top floor of the residence was completely burned, and that part of the main floor had fallen into the daylight basement of the residence. Firefighters also informed deputies that there was an additional car parked in the basement, which added to the intensity of the fire. The investigation ultimately showed that the car had been purposefully driven through a set of double doors into the Kroeker family's daylight basement.

The fires burned for the next several hours as firefighters worked around the clock to extinguish the blaze. Suppression efforts were complicated due to downed electrical wires, unstable structures, and severe cold weather. During the suppression efforts, Marion County Sheriff's Office detectives obtained search warrants for the residence, buildings, and vehicles on the property. On January 4, 2017, once the structures were determined to be safe, investigators entered the residence and buildings and began meticulously sifting through severely burned debris in order to collect any and all available evidence.

Four bodies were recovered from the residence on January 4, 2017. Those were the bodies of Luke Kroeker, age 10; Braedon Kroeker, age 10; Keith Kroeker, age 43, and Leia Kroeker, age 7. The locations of the bodies of all three children were consistent with being killed in their respective bedrooms. Keith Kroeker's body was found at the top of the stairs. The body of Erin Kroeker, age 39, was discovered on January 5, 2017. The location of Erin Kroeker's body was consistent with being killed in her bedroom. Additionally, on January 5, 2017, Marion County Sheriff's Office K9 division and Mountain Wave K9 division, a search and rescue organization out of Portland, conducted a search of the premises and did not find any additional bodies or remains.

In the following days, investigators worked long hours continuing their search of the residence. They found a Mossberg Maverick 12-gauge, slide-action shotgun located at the bottom of the stairs. The shotgun was found with the barrel pointing towards the top of the stairs, where Keith Kroeker's body was found. The shotgun held an expended but melted shotgun shell.

On January 5, 2017, Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office conducted autopsies on all five members of the Kroeker family. All bodies were severely burned by the fire.

Dr. Karen Gunson performed the autopsy on Luke Kroeker. His cause of death was a shotgun wound of the head. The autopsy showed no signs of smoke inhalation prior to his death. When Luke's body was recovered, he appeared to be wearing bed clothes.

Dr. Christopher Young performed the autopsy on Braeden Kroeker. His cause of death was a shotgun wound of the head, and manner of death was homicide. The autopsy showed no signs of smoke inhalation prior to his death. When Braeden's body was recovered, he was dressed in bed clothes.

Dr. Christopher Young also performed the autopsy on Leia Kroeker. Her cause of death was homicidal violence including strangulation and shotgun wound of the head, and the manner of death was homicide. The autopsy showed no signs of smoke inhalation prior to her death. When Leia's body was recovered, she was dressed in bed clothes.

Dr. Clifford Nelson performed the autopsy on Erin Kroeker. Her cause of death was blunt force head trauma, and the manner of death was homicide. The autopsy and blood results showed signs of smoke inhalation prior to her death. When Erin's body was recovered, she was dressed in bed clothes.

Dr. Larry Lewman performed the autopsy on Keith Kroeker. His cause of death was determined to be shotgun wound of the brain, and the manner of death was suicide. The autopsy and blood results showed signs of smoke inhalation prior to his death. When Keith's body was recovered, he was dressed in blue jeans, a belt, a thermal shirt, and work boots.

Over the subsequent months, Detectives continued to investigate the incident. They obtained and served multiple search warrants and subpoenas, interviewed numerous friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors. Detectives were also able to track Keith and Erin Kroeker's cell phones, and follow up on the tips and information provided by the community.

After reviewing that entire seven-month investigation, the Marion County District Attorney's Office has concluded that Keith Kroeker is solely responsible for the deaths of Erin Kroeker and their three children.

This investigation involved extensive efforts by the Marion County Sheriff's Office, assisted by the Woodburn Fire Department, Oregon State Police, Oregon State Police Crime Lab, Oregon State Medical Examiner, Oregon State Fire Marshal, and the Marion County District Attorney's Office. The investigation into these crimes is now closed. No grand jury will be convened nor any charges filed as the potential defendant is deceased.

Former Woodburn Police Officer Charged With Crimes - 07/24/17

The Marion County District Attorney's Office has charged former Woodburn Police Officer, Timothy Cobos with 3 Counts of Official Misconduct in the First Degree for conduct arising over the last two years while he was employed with the department. He has since recently resigned his position.

Cobos will be arraigned on those charges in an appearance before the Honorable Tracy A. Prall tomorrow, July 25, 2017 at 9:00 AM at the Marion County Courthouse. It is anticipated that he will further plead guilty and be sentenced on all 3 counts at that time.

Official Misconduct in the First Degree is a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

As this is still an open and pending case, the Marion County District Attorney's Office cannot comment any further at this time.