1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204
June 14, 2006 00:00
The first victim, Chai Taphom, was found dead in an alleyway in the area of Northeast Davis Street and Northeast 111th Avenue. His vehicle, a silver 2005 Honda Civic 2-door Coupe, was stolen.
The second victim, Michael Burchett, was discovered in a parking lot located in the 3200 block of Northeast 82nd Avenue. Mr. Burchett’s vehicle, a black 2000 Honda Civic 2-door Coupe, was also stolen.
Shortly after the second homicide, Portland Police Homicide Detectives discovered evidence that linked the homicides, and the Portland Police Bureau assigned 15-20 detectives to this investigation. In early June, Homicide Detectives in a special Crime Stoppers Alert, appealed to the community to be on the look out for the stolen vehicles and offered a $1,000 reward for information on the whereabouts of each vehicle, in addition to the usual Crime Stoppers reward.
In the meantime, in the early hours of June 12, 2006, Washington County Sheriff's Office and Beaverton Police Detectives arrested a suspect, Cevelino Capiua, who was wanted in connection
with a robbery of a Plaid Pantry in Beaverton. The detectives realized the Vehicle’s Identification Number did not correspond with the license plates that were currently on the vehicle. The vehicle’s license plates had been switched and the vehicle was in fact, the one stolen from the first victim, Chai Taphom.
Portland Homicide Detectives were called and eventually information was obtained regarding the whereabouts of Shawn Ryan Womack, his girlfriend, Jasmin Cooke Lesniak. The address obtained was in Corvallis, and with the assistance of the Corvallis Police Department, Womack and Lesniak were arrested.
Detectives believe there is an additional homicide victim associated with this series of events. But because this investigation is ongoing, we cannot release any additional information at this time.
Portland Police want to thank the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, the Medical Examiner’s Office, the Oregon State Crime Lab, the Washington County Sheriff's Office, the Beaverton Police Department, and the Corvallis Police Department, for their assistance with the resolution to these two homicides in Portland. “Portland Police had numerous detectives assigned to this investigation and they were actively pursuing all leads,” says Assistant Chief James Ferraris, who oversees the Investigations Branch. “This was a case of two innocent men who were violently and randomly killed. But because of a coordinated effort among numerous agencies, we were able to first link these homicides, and then locate and arrest the suspects involved.”
This investigation is continuing.
Sgt. Pete Simpson