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News Release
Peter Jirasek receives 180 month prison sentence for killing Daniel Cohen - 06/06/19

June 6, 2019

Peter Jirasek receives 180 month prison sentence for killing Daniel Cohen

 

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that 36-year-old Peter Jirasek received a 180 month prison sentence for causing the death of 30-year-old Daniel Cohen and then burning his corpse.

“We’ve lost a son, a brother, a grandson, and his friends have lost a friend who would have gone out of his way to help them if they needed help,” Mr. Cohen’s family said in court.

On May 22, 2019, Jirasek pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter in the first degree, one count of abuse of a corpse in the first degree and one count of unlawful use of a vehicle.

His co-defendant, Jessika Atkinson, who was never implicated in the homicide, previously pleaded guilty to one count of abuse of a corpse in the first degree for aiding and abetting Jirasek, one count of tampering with physical evidence, one count of hindering prosecution and one count of unlawful use of a vehicle. She received a probation sentence and is receiving drug treatment through Multnomah County’s START Court program.

During this investigation, law enforcement learned that Mr. Cohen and Ms. Atkinson were acquaintances. At the time of Mr. Cohen’s death, Atkinson and Jirasek were in a relationship.

On approximately March 29, 2017, all three gathered inside Mr. Cohen’s vehicle at an unknown location in Multnomah County to use narcotics. A fight between Jirasek and Mr. Cohen occurred.

“Mr. Jirasek beat Mr. Cohen until he was deceased and then he and Ms. Atkinson drove Mr. Cohen’s body down to Lane County where they burned his body and took his vehicle,” said Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Kelley Rhoades who prosecuted this case along with Senior Deputy District Attorney JR Ujifusa. 

On April 5, 2017, law enforcement located Jirasek and Atkinson living inside Mr. Cohen’s vehicle at Glenn Otto Community Park in Troutdale, Oregon.

Two days later, the Portland Police Bureau received a report that Mr. Cohen had not been seen or in contact with his family. He was listed as a missing person.

A substantial amount of blood that had been cleaned up from the back seat was located inside Mr. Cohen’s vehicle. The blood matched Mr. Cohen’s DNA.

On March 31, 2017, the Lane County Sheriff’s Office received information that a body had been located within a burn pile on a remote forest service road.

By April 25, 2017, detectives concluded there was sufficient evidence to believe Mr. Cohen’s disappearance was suspicious.

Forensic testing on evidence obtained at the burn pile was conducted, so it was not immediately known that the human remains discovered were connected to Mr. Cohen’s disappearance.

In addition to Atkinson’s DNA being located at the burn pile, a metal seatbelt latch was collected at the scene. Law enforcement searched Mr. Cohen’s car and discovered that the rear passenger seatbelt had been removed.     

During the investigation, law enforcement obtained bank and phone records belonging to Jirasek and Atkinson, pursuant to court-authorized search warrants. The records revealed that Jirasek and Atkinson had traveled to a wooded area in Lane County as well as the cities of Eugene and Florence.

The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office determined Mr. Cohen’s death was a result of homicidal violence. A forensic anthropologist confirmed Mr. Cohen suffered cranial trauma.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office recognizes the Portland Police Bureau, Lane County Sheriff’s Office, and the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office for their dedicated efforts working this complex investigation.

#MCDA#


Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director

Phone: 503.988.6567

Email: Brent.Weisberg@mcda.us

Attached Media Files: PR-19-121-Peter_Jirasek.pdf
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