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36-year-old Charina Mathews faces second-degree murder, corpse abuse, other charges.

A 36-year-old Culver woman was arrested last week in connection with the death of a person on Southwest Bear Drive and Highway 361.

At about 3 p.m. Thursday, June 4, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police arrested Charina Jeanette Owen, also known as Charina Mathews on suspicion of second-degree murder, felon in possession of a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon and second-degree abuse of a corpse, according to a Facebook post by Sheriff Jim Adkins.

The body, which law enforcement has not yet identified, was located in a refrigerator, according to Adkins.

"It has been in an unrefrigerated refrigerator for a fair amount of time," said District Attorney Steve Leriche. "It was in a bad state of decomposition."

The body was found at property owned by Byron Hilands, who has been missing for a couple of months, said District Attorney Steve Leriche.

"Because of the press, a local dentist heard about what we needed and has provided the dental records," he said, referring to Hilands.

Investigators had been looking for a DNA match for Hilands. They do not have an estimate of how long it will take to process the dental records.

Hilands and Mathews had been dating, and court records show a history of domestic violence.

Anyone with information about Hilands' whereabouts or his relationship with Mathews is asked to call JCSO Detective Jason Pollock at 541-475-6520.

"We'd like to make sure that we have a very clear picture of everything that was going on between the two of them," Leriche said.

In 2017, Mathews pleaded no contest to a fourth-degree assault charge in an incident where Hilands told a Jefferson County Sheriff's deputy that Mathews hit him in the head with a rock that was 4 or 5 inches in diameter and bit him, according a probable cause affidavit filed with the court.

"Byron said he thinks Charina is on drugs and she is not acting herself," the deputy wrote. "Byron told me had had tried to hold Charina back by holding onto her, but she bit him on the right forearm. Byron explained, Charina was hitting him with anything she could pick up off of the ground. Byron said, 'She was going crazy and he could not hold her.'"

"Byron told me Charina has hit him before he has forgiven her," the deputy continued. "I noticed Byron had a fat lip as well. I asked Byron about the fat lip. Byron told me, the other day Charina sucker punched him in the mouth while they were talking."

The deputy asked Hilands if Mathews had ever threatened him with a weapon.

"She threatens to kill me all of the time," Hilands told the deputy. "Sometimes she is joking, sometimes she is serious and I am on guard all the time around here."

The deputy asked if Mathews had ever threatened to harm or kill him or his children.

"Oh, she will just go ahead and do it," Hiland said, according to the affidavit.

Mathews would not answer the deputy's questions that night.

"Charina asked me to stop the recording because the recording is intimidating her and it is against her religion," the deputy wrote.

In January 2018, an 83-year-old woman told a Jefferson County Sheriff's deputy that Mathews went into her residence, took a pistol, and threatened Hilands.

The woman said the two of them showed up at the property, and Mathews gave her an orange piece of paper with "peace" written one side and a Bible verse on the other.

After a question about her kids, Mathews went into the woman's house, took the pistol from under her pillow, came outside and yelled at Hilands.

After she had calmed down, the woman asked Mathews for the pistol, and Mathews gave it to her, still cocked. She picked up the holster, which was in the mud, cleaned it off, and gave it back.

The woman said "when Charina spoke it did not make any sense. One minute Charina was calm, then she would start getting mad.

When the deputy questioned Hilands, he said, "There was no gun!"

"Byron loves Charina and I could tell he was trying to cover for her," the deputy wrote in a probable cause affidavit. "Byron would not talk about this anymore."

A the time, Mathews was not supposed to have contact with Hilands because of the previous assault.

"Byron was getting mad at me because he could see Charina was getting into trouble again," the deputy wrote. "Bryon told me Charina is a good person, when she is not high she is good to him and her kids. Byron said Charina tells him she wants to get high and he tells her not to.

The grand jury is expected to meet Wednesday, June 10, in the case, and arraignment is set for 1 p.m. Thursday, June 11.

The Central Oregon Major Incident Team, including OSP, the Oregon State Police Crime Lab, the Crook County Sheriff's Office, the Bend and Redmond police departments and the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, worked on the monthlong investigation.


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