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Airplane Tracking, K9 Search End with Arrest of Woman Police Say ‘Lured’ Murder Victim to Violent Death

kassandra kitchens

Kassandra Kitchens (above on mugshots courtesy of Portland Police) is behind bars after several weeks on the run.

An Oregon woman is now behind bars in connection with the alleged murder of an area man.  Kassandra Kitchens, 26, managed to avoid the authorities for weeks, but her time on the loose ended on Thursday, the Portland Police Bureau explained.

The case unfolded shortly after 6:00 p.m., according to a Police Bureau report.  An officer noticed a “suspicious” woman in a pickup truck, that report indicated.  Further observation of the suspect resulted in probable cause to pull over her vehicle, according to the officer who attempted to do just that.  It is unclear precisely what led the officer to develop probable cause.

The woman allegedly took off in response to the attempted stop and “eluded the officer, who did not pursue.”  An air support unit moved in and began to follow the truck and its driver, the police said.  The woman “tried to get away,” ditched the truck, and then “jumped out and ran” into a residential neighborhood, the police continued.

At that point, the police let the dogs out.  Officers said they contained the area and then used a K9 unit — in addition to the aerial support unit — to track the wanted woman.  She was caught in someone’s backyard, officers said.

The defendant was booked into Multnomah County Detention on charges involving the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and an attempt to elude by vehicle, according to the police. The truck, police indicated, had been stolen.

Officers quickly realized during this process that they had apprehended a fugitive from the law.

Kitchens was also booked on a laundry list of charges which stemmed from her alleged role in a September 2o21 murder. Those charges include two counts of murder, kidnapping, criminal conspiracy to commit murder, assault, criminal conspiracy to commit assault, and criminal conspiracy to commit unlawful distribution of oxycodone, according to jail records.

Kitchens charges

Kitchens had been indicted by a grand jury in December on several charges (inmate record above).

The additional charges all surround the killing of 35-year-old Andrew Sherrell — a crime in which Kitchens is suspected to have played a role.  In a press release dated Feb. 15, the Portland Police Bureau described the killing of Sherrell as an “execution-style murder.”  From that press release, in detail:

Investigators believe Sherrell, 35, was lured over from his home in Bend with the help of Kitchens, in a series of events that ultimately led to him being murdered on September 24, 2021, in the 18900 block of NE Portal Way.

[ . . . ]

Detectives learned Sherrell was someone involved in selling illegal drugs, spending time between Central Oregon and the Portland Metro area. The investigation found he was the target of a kidnapping and execution-style murder because of a drug debt, with multiple suspects conspiring to commit the felonious acts. He was bound at the hands, assaulted, and driven from downtown Portland to the location of the eventual homicide scene in Gresham, where he was killed and left on the side of the road.

“Kitchens knows she is wanted and is actively avoiding capture,” the police also said in mid-February.  “She was indicted by a Multnomah County Grand Jury in December 2021 [and] has an active warrant for her arrest.”

The police believe five suspects in total were involved in the man’s death. Kitchens was the last of the five to be apprehended by law enforcement, officers said.  The other suspects the authorities arrested were identified as Cesar Estrada-Nava, 31, of Portland; D’Sean Maurice Baker, 43, of Portland; Andrew Bushnell, 36, of Eugene; and, Christian Joshua Wobbe, 23, of Portland.

The investigation into the alleged murder of Sherrell involved myriad agencies, the police added.  Those agencies are the Gresham Police Department, the Portland Police Bureau, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, the Port of Portland Police Department, the Oregon State Police, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, the Bend Police Department, the Redmond Police Department, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, the Vancouver Police Department, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, the Beaverton Police Department, and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.

It looks as though Kitchens will not be leaving jail any time soon.  She is being held without bail on the two murder charges.

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