Oregon State Police conducts death investigation

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Tue, January 21 2014 at 6:31 PM, Updated: Wed, January 22 2014 at 12:38 PM

Oregon State Police are investigating a death that occurred during a burglary in progress at Innovative Woodworx LLC. The building is located in the 2200 block of Harbeck Road, south of Grants Pass. Police said the building houses a business that makes cabinets.

According to OSP, on Tuesday around 7am, they received a call of an interrupted burglary in progress. Police said an employee and his father saw forced signs of entry. When the two went to investigate, they found the suspect, a 33-year-old Grants Pass resident, inside. 

It was then that police said a brief scuffle broke out, with the two men eventually detaining the suspect then calling police.

"The suspect that was inside had some sort of medical condition and stopped breathing," began Sergeant Tyler Lee with Oregon State Police.

"That's when the individuals that were inside ... started CPR over the phone with dispatch," he continued.

Sgt. Lee said when police arrived, the man was declared dead on scene.       

Police could not elaborate on the suspect's medical condition or if he had any physical injuries.

"He just basically stopped breathing is what we know," Sgt. Lee said.

As police collected evidence, living just down the road, Ted Stephenson said his employees found something suspicious Tuesday morning.

"When they showed up for work, they went to open the gate and there was one ski mask sitting right there and they actually picked it up and brought it down to OSP," said Stephenson.

Whether that ski mask is related to this crime scene is unknown.

Also visible from the road is a broken window. All police can say is the suspect had something to do with it.

Authorities are not expected to release the suspect's name until next of kin are notified.

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About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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