They Went to Investigate 1999 Murder, Found a Different Body

Christopher Lovrien, 53, is accused of killing 2 men in Oregon more than 2 decades apart
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2021 10:14 AM CST
One Man Was Killed in '99, Another in 2020. Now, a Suspect
Christopher Lovrien is arraigned in Multnomah County Circuit Court in Portland, Ore., on Thursday.   (Dave Killen/The Oregonian via AP)

More than two decades ago, Mark Dribin vanished. While police haven't yet found the Oregon man's remains, they have a suspect. That man, 53-year-old Christopher Lovrien, is now being accused not only of murdering Dribin, but also of murdering Kenneth Griffin, who disappeared in February 2020 and whose body was found months later in a shed on Lovrien's Portland property, reports the New York Times. A statement from the office of Multnomah County DA Mike Schmidt lays out the timeline, starting with the disappearance of Dribin, a 42-year-old airline cargo worker, in July 1999. A DNA sample found at Dribin's residence didn't turn up any suspect matches. Though his body hasn't been found, Dribin was declared dead in August 2000, and his case went cold—until March 2019, when it was reopened using genetic geneaology. This time, the forensic analysis pointed in Lovrien's direction.

Investigators obtained Lovrien's DNA with a search warrant, a definitive match was made, and he was arrested in May 2020 for Dribin's death. It was while detectives were searching Lovrien's property after his arrest that they discovered Griffin's dismembered remains in a shed there. Police say it doesn't appear Lovrien knew either of the victims, or that they knew each other, per the AP; a motive for their killings is unclear. "Time will never stand in the way of justice," Schmidt said, per his office's statement. Investigators suspect there may be more victims and are asking for tips on anyone who may have lived under a particular bridge in Southeast Portland and gone missing. Lovrien pleaded not guilty on Thursday in Multnomah County Circuit Court to charges of second-degree murder, first-degree abuse of a corpse, and possessing a firearm. (More murder charges stories.)

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