Body found in Pendleton motel a victim of homicide

PENDELTON, OR. - Pendleton Police rushed to the Travelodge motel on SW Dorian Ave on Tuesday. The call came in as a woman who passed out in one of the rooms, maybe needing medical help. But it was too late.

Ron Thompson waits for the bus across the street from the motel everyday. He asked, "My God, what happened here?"

First reports stated that Amyjane Brandhagen's passing was just an unattended death, meaning she died while no one else was there.
Now, it's believed the 19 year old young woman who wrote she loved to draw and write poetry on her Facebook page, ended up as the first homicide for Pendleton in more than two-years.

"I don't understand what the heck's goin' on, I mean the community is so tight you know. There's a murder right over here bout almost couple years ago, too," Ron added.

According to Amyjane's Facebook page, she started working at the very motel where she was found dead. On Twitter, Amyjane describes herself as small town Christian artist. She posted frequently about her faith, art and music.

Umatilla County's District Attorney Dan Primus tells KEPR that detectives were processing the crime scene all night looking for clues and forensic evidence.

Despite that, it's still early in the investigation. Amyjane's body is being autopsied in Portland. Police haven't suggested how she died or if they're looking for a suspect.

The owner of the hotel didn't want to talk about the homicide. But a neighbor across the street worries he noticed something odd before everything unfolded.

"Just a gentleman walking up and down the street, pacing the road," Troy Powell, adding that he's never seen that man before and isn't sure he's connected.

He continued, "It's spooky. My grandkids, you know live here. I got 16 of them. They walk the streets, it's supposed to be safe."

Not knowing how or why Amyjane died has everyone a little on edge.

Amyjane lists herself as part of the class of 20-13 for Pendleton High School.

Police are welcoming any tips in this case. You can contact Pendleton Police at (541) 276-4411.