Crime

Wilder homicide victim was suspect’s wife; car found abandoned in Oregon

Canyon County sheriff’s deputies seek the public’s help in locating a 51-year-old Wilder man accused of killing his wife at their home late Thursday, then fleeing.

Erasmo Alcala Diaz, 51, abandoned his car just across the state line in Adrian, Ore., and is believed to have his handgun with him, Sheriff Kieran Donahue said.

Diaz’s 39-year-old wife, whose name was not released Friday at the family’s request, was critically wounded when deputies arrived at the couple’s Red Top Road home in response to an 11:10 p.m. Thursday report of shots fired, Donahue said. Emergency responders tried to save her life, he said, but her injuries were too severe. He would not say how many times she was shot or who reported the shooting.

“Diaz is considered armed and dangerous,” the sheriff said at a Friday news conference. “We don’t want members of the public approaching him for any reason.”

As for the suspect’s local network of friends and family, Donahue warned that anyone who hides or helps Diaz will be prosecuted.

“We will figure it out,” he said. “We have many officers out in the field.”

“Now is not the time to be helping this subject,” Donahue said. “Whether he’s friend or family, he needs to be held accountable. The best thing for Mr. Diaz is to come forward now before the situation gets any worse.”

Investigators, who worked on the case all night and through Friday, learned that Diaz has “reached out to both friends and family in the area, trying to get out of the area,” Sheriff’s Lt. Chris McCormick said. He urged those people, understandably reluctant to turn in a loved one, to call Crimestoppers at 343-COPS so they can “remain anonymous, but point us to where we need to go.”

By Friday evening, the sheriff’s office had not received many tips about Diaz, but investigators have developed several leads they are working on, Donahue said. He said he met with the victim’s family Friday afternoon and they asked that her name not be publicized yet. The name may be released by the end of the weekend, he said.

Diaz has a record of assaulting his wife, Donahue said. In 2008, he was initially charged with three counts of felony aggravated assault but the charges were reduced to misdemeanor assault through a plea bargain, according to court records. He served four days of a 90-day jail sentence, according to records. Misdemeanor charges of battery and domestic battery with a child present were dropped in connection with the same incident.

Two of the couple’s children, one of them a juvenile, were in the home Thursday night when the shooting happened, Donahue said.

Besides the 2008 incident, Donahue said he is not aware of any other domestic violence reports involving the couple.

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