When three women were discovered dead in
wooded Forest Park in Portland, Oregon, in less than one month, police
wasted no time forming a task force that would soon corner the women's
Lilla Moler, 28, was the first to be found on May 7, 1999,
followed the next day by Stephanie Russell, 26, who's body was located
only 80 yeards from where Moler was found. The third grisly discovery
was the corpse of Tomorrow Ison, 17, found on June 2.
All three women
were prostitutes and drug addicts, were found nude and strangled, and
bore a striking resemblance to one another.
The Forest Park Task Force went proactive,
sending out an undercover officer who fit the killer's physical
preferences and on July 7 began to focus on Todd Alan Reed, a convicted
sex offender who had been in prison for three years following a 1992
sexual assault during which he attempted to strangle a prostitute.
Reed approached the undercover officer police began surveillance and
obtained a DNA sample saved from the 1992 assault. It matched samples
found at the Moler and Russell dumpsites and Reed was quickly arrested
and charged with both murders plus the slaying of Ison as well.
Reed plead guilty to all three slayings
February of 2001 and was sentenced to life in prison with no parole. The
convicted serial murderer is also a suspect in several other slayings
including the Gresham killings of Mindi Thomas, 12, and Jennifer Tchir,
15, in 1987. Both girls were last seen with Reed's ex-wife and were
discovered strangled and dumped in wooded areas. DNA tests are rumored
to link Reed to the two killings.
Police announce arrest in Oregon
AP News Service
July 19, 1999
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ Police have
arrested a produce worker on charges he strangled three homeless women,
killings that frightened transients throughout the city.
Todd Alan Reed, 32, was arrested at Rinella Produce
late Sunday and charged with aggravated murder.
"There's a certain fear and undercurrent when
something like this is going on,'' said police spokeswoman Sgt. Cheryl
Kanzler. "Now, the community and the police bureau can breathe a sigh of
Reed is accused of killing Lilla Moler, 28; Stephanie
Russell, 26; and Alexandria Ison, 17.
The investigation will continue, since police are
still trying to determine if there are more victims or evidence in
Forest Park, the sprawling wooded recreation area where the bodies were
found that is heavily used by joggers, bicyclists and hikers.
The three victims lived on the street. They were drug
users, and two were involved in prostitution.
"It was a certain lifestyle this man was targeting,''
Police would not say exactly what led to Reed's
arrest or what evidence they had on him. Officers searched his house and
Fred Pittman, manager of Rinella Produce, said Reed
minded his own business and was a good worker.
"It's a shocker to us, of course,'' Pittman said.