Kidnapping suspects

Four people have been charged in connection with a kidnapping case. Clockwise from top left are Joseph Raphael Gutierrez, Daniel Fred Schroeder, Karissa Lynett Williams, and Michell Dawn Slay, who all are in the Linn County Jail. Slay, who was arrested Wednesday afternoon was scheduled to appear in court Thursday. (Provided photos)

Four people have now been arrested in connection with a Sweet Home-area kidnapping case.

A 20-year-old local woman was restrained and held against her will in the area over the weekend, according to authorities.

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office arrested a fourth suspect in the case Wednesday afternoon.

Michell Dawn Slay, 25, of Lebanon, was lodged in the Linn County Jail at 4:27 p.m. on charges of first-degree kidnapping and third-degree assault. She was scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

Undersheriff Bruce Riley said the victim knew the suspects.

Prosecutor Michael Wynhausen said people were at a residence using methamphetamine and the victim passed out. When she woke up, she found she had been sexually assaulted.

Three other people were arraigned Wednesday in Linn County Circuit Court.

Daniel Fred Schroeder, 54, was arraigned on charges of first-degree kidnapping, third-degree assault and unlawful first-degree sexual penetration.

His bail was set at $200,000.

“I am looking at some pretty serious charges that are not at all what they look like or sound like,” Schroeder said, as he appeared via teleconference.

His next hearing is scheduled for May 6.  

Joseph Rafael Gutierrez, 30, and Karissa Lynett Williams, 33, were each arraigned on one count of third-degree assault, and were scheduled to appear again April 30.

They had initially been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping charges, as well.

The defendants are accused of acting together to injure the victim.

Bail was set at $5,000 for Gutierrez. Williams, who has no criminal history, was scheduled to be released without bail.

The victim told police that she had gone to Schroeder’s residence in the 28000 block of Fern Ridge Road on Friday, and sometime over the weekend, she was assaulted and held against her will.

According to a news release, she was able to leave  Sunday morning while Schroeder was sleeping.

On Monday afternoon, the sheriff’s office sent out a news release asking for the public’s help in finding Schroeder. Thanks to a tip, they contacted him at a residence at Cox Street in Lebanon.

“He was in the process of fleeing the area,” Wynhausen said.

Gutierrez and Williams were arrested by the sheriff’s office and Sweet Home Police Department at about 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Trailer Villa in Sweet Home.  

Riley said that as cases progress, they often “mushroom” to encompass additional suspects.

Schroeder has prior convictions for manufacture of methamphetamine in Linn County, and Gutierrez was convicted of meth possession.

The victim in the case has no criminal history in Linn County, according to Oregon’s online court database.  

Those with information about Slay’s whereabouts or the case should contact Detective Mike Harmon of the Linn County Sheriff’s Office at 1-800-884-3911.

Kyle Odegard covers public safety for the D-H. He can be contacted at 541-812-6077 or


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