Family pleads for Portland murder suspect to turn himself in

PORTLAND, Ore — Family of the woman found dead in Powell Butte Nature Park on Dec. 9, Kathryn Muhlbach, 27, plead for the suspect, Jose Caraballo, 43, to turn himself in. He is currently on the run and wanted for murder, police said.

“Jose my sister loved you, and you made a mistake we want you to turn yourself in,” said Jennifer Keller.

Keller is Muhlbach’s sister and want’s police to find Caraballo to get closure and start the healing process.

A nationwide manhunt is underway for Caraballo. He was Muhlbach’s boyfriend and is accused of her murder. Police believe he has left the Portland area by now. Caraballo faces a charge of second-degree murder (domestic violence).

“I just want to share with the world that my sister was an amazing human,” said Keller, “she loved her children so much, she was funny.”

Keller remembers her sister as strong and loving.

“We just couldn’t get a hold of her which is not normal, so we had a feeling that something was wrong,” said Keller. “It has been the worst experience my family has ever gone through.”

Keller said her sister moved to Oregon from California in 2020 with Caraballo.

“She loved him so much and little by little we started to understand that their relationship might not be very healthy,” said Keller. “We just never knew that it would lead to her death.”

Caraballo has friends and family in Oregon, California and Mexico, police said.

“We’re hurting and right now our focus for Katheryn is to find Jose and bring justice to her for her and for her children,” said Keller.

Muhlbach’s family started a Go-Fund-Me account to help the two young children she leaves behind.

Crime Stoppers of Oregon offers cash rewards of up to $2,500 for information, reported to Crime Stoppers of Oregon, that leads to an arrest in any unsolved felony crime and tipsters can remain anonymous. Secure and anonymous tips can be left at www.crimestoppersoforegon.com.

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