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Suspect in murder of Klamath Falls woman taken into custody

The man suspected of severely beating an elderly woman and setting fire to her Klamath Falls home was taken into custody on Saturday.

Posted: Jul 13, 2020 10:23 AM

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — The man suspected of severely beating an elderly woman and setting fire to her Klamath Falls home was taken into custody on Saturday.

Police and firefighters responded to a burning home at 112 Wendling Street on Friday, finding 69-year-old Joan Pittenger outside near a detached garage. Klamath Falls Police said that she had been severely beaten, and later passed away in the hospital.

An investigation led officers to begin searching for 39-year-old James Marshall Johnson, suspected of both beating Pittenger and setting the fire. As of Saturday afternoon, Klamath Falls Police said that Johnson had fled the area and was still being sought.

According to jail logs, Johnson was arrested and booked into jail sometime on Saturday — charged with murder, arson in the first degree, tampering with evidence, domestic violence assault in the fourth degree, strangulation, and menacing.

This is a developing story and will be updated with more details as they emerge.

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