Suspect arrested for ’99 homicide in Portland

Crime

DNA analysis used in cold case

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The U.S. Marshall’s Office arrested a man in Portland Monday for his alleged role in a homicide from more than 20 years ago.

Investigators working on the cold case said Christopher Lovrien was behind the disappearance of 42-year-old Mark Dribin back on July 6, 1999. A search of Dribin’s house following his disappearance revealed “suspicious circumstances,” according to investigators.

The missing person case was eventually reclassified to homicide. Though the initial investigation more than 20 years ago garnished DNA evidence, it was never matched to a suspect and remained in the national DNA database.

In March of 2019, the case was reopened by the Portland Police Bureau’s Cold Case Unit and the DNA was submitted for Forensic Genetic Genealogy analysis. New findings allowed investigators to move forward and on April 30, 2020, a grand jury returned an indictment in the case, leading to Lovrien’s arrest.

The 52-year-old was charged with Murder in the Second Degree and is slated to be arraigned Tuesday.

“The apprehension of a murder suspect after twenty years highlights the on-going commitment and persistence of PPB’s Cold Case Homicide Unit investigators,” said PPB Chief Jami Resch. “We are grateful for the assistance from the Oregon State Crime Lab and US Marshall’s Service members in helping us to identify and capture this violent offender. “

Though police have a suspect, the investigation into the homicide remains open. Anyone with information is asked to contact PPB at 503-823-0869.

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