Detectives: Burning death suspect charged with murder

Detectives: Burning death suspect charged with murder

UMATILLA, Ore. - A Milton Freewater man is now faces murder charges in the burning death of Marcos Jesus Gutierrez-Rodriguez.

The Umatilla County Sheriff's Office (UCSO) identified Conor Michael Dayton, 24, was a suspected after Gutierrez-Rodriguez's body was discovered under the Eastside Road Bridge near Milton Freewater on the morning of May 22.

Detectives determined the death was the result of a murder following thorough investigation and evidence examination.

Reports said Dayton admitted to starting the fire that killed the victim.

He claimed he found Gutierrez-Rodriguez's dead body and started the fire to hide his drug use.

Detectives believe that the suspect actually killed Marcos Jesus Gutierrez-Rodriguez and burned his body to hide the evidence.

UCSO worked with the District Attorney's Office who will present the case to a grand jury.

The UCSO wants to acknowledge the Oregon State Police, Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office and the Hermiston Police Department for their assistance in this case.