Abduction suspect charged with murder

Abduction suspect charged with murder

Credit: kgw.com

Dale Wayne Hill, as shown in a police mug shot.




Posted on August 15, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 24 at 12:52 PM

RIDDLE, Ore. -- The sole suspect in the abduction of a Riddle girl back in 1998 has been charged with aggravated murder and kidnapping.

Dale Wayne Hill was taken into custody in Reno, Nevada in March for unrelated charges of failing to register as a felon. He pleaded guilty to those charges and was set to be released early Wednesday.

Instead, late Tuesday he was charged with the murder of Stephanie Condon, the 14-year-old girl from Riddle, Oregon whose remains were found on a remote logging road in March.

Stephanie Condon was 14 when she vanished from a family member's home in Tri City while babysitting her cousin's twins on the night before Halloween in 1998.

Deputies told KGW back in March that Dale Wayne Hill, who was 28 at the time Stephanie went missing, was their only suspect in the case.

Hill was arrested in Reno and held for nearly a month on unrelated charges, and would have been released Wednesday.

Cold case

The decade-old Condon case had gone cold until Friday, March 13, when a man exercising his dogs on a remote forest road in the Glide area spotted what appeared to be human skeletal remains and alerted the sheriff's office.

The bones were about 40 miles away from the home where Stephanie was last seen babysitting.

Family reaction

Investigators spent over a week studying the remains and dental records of missing persons until the medical examiner positively identified the deceased as Stephanie Condon, according to Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin.

"This is certainly not what any of us was hoping for," said Stephanie Condon's father, Martin, after learning the news. "But after 10 years, it's an outcome we've been trying to prepare for. My family is doing pretty well. My family is doing well under the circumstances."

Investigators also said they recovered evidence from the site around Stephanie's remains, but they didn't indicate specifically how she died.

"The cause and manner of death has not yet been established. Stephanie's remains continue to be examined in an attempt to make that determination," Sheriff Hanlin said.

"The abduction and murder of a child in this community is shocking for us all. There has never been a more important investigation in many of our careers, and never has there been a more important break in an investigation such as the discovery of Stephanie's remains and related evidence."