Photos of suspect and scene are attached –
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It took Marion County Deputies several hours to unravel an investigation that was first thought to be a possible fatal traffic crash.
A Butteville Road NE resident called at 3:26am to report hearing sounds of a motor vehicle crash near his property. A 1996 Honda Civic 4-dr sedan was found upside down in the creek that runs under Butteville Road near Stafney Lane NE, west of Woodburn. The car was filled with personal property and two child/infant car seats were found inside the car.
A man, later identified as Edel Lopez-Aparicio, 24, of Gervais was seen standing in the roadway yelling that his 23-year old girlfriend was in the vehicle and that he needed help in getting her out of the car.
Deputies arrived within minutes. Assisted by the Woodburn Fire department, they were able to check the vehicle interior, but no one was found. A search of the area surrounding the crash also failed to locate the girlfriend.
Lopez-Aparicio was identified as the driver of the car. He indicated that he and his girlfriend had been in Portland earlier in the evening and that they were returning to Gervais when the crash occurred. He told investigators he lost control of the car and ended up in the creek. He had injuries from the crash and was transported by Medics to the Salem Hospital for treatment.
The Newberg Fire Department Dive team was called to assist in a search of the creek in which the car was found. An exhaustive search failed to locate the girlfriend.
Deputies found food items in the vehicle from the Jack in the Box on Arney Road in Woodburn. Checking with an employee of the restaurant, they learned that the vehicle had been at the restaurant earlier in the evening, and that the employee thought there were two people in the car at the time. For the next few hours, Deputies continued their search, making calls and checking addresses they were able to identify.
Shortly before 8:00am, they received a call from the girlfriend saying she was safe at her home in Gervais. She claimed to have been home since 2:00am, and said she wasn’t in the car at the time of the crash.
Lopez-Aparicio is on supervision to the Marion County Parole & Probation Division for a prior weapons conviction. Following treatment at the hospital, Deputy Ryan Clarke arrested him for DUII and violating the conditions of his supervision. He was booked at the Marion County Jail.