Police Look for Murder Suspect's Ties to Other Unsolved Cases
A nationwide search for a man wanted for murder ends in Umatilla County.
Twenty-three year old Lukah Chang, aka Danny Wu was arrested in Pendleton, Oregon last night, and made his first appearance in Umatilla County Court this afternoon.
Police say Chang is from Morgantown, North Carolina.
He was spotted last night at the Pendleton Convention Center by two workers - Danielle Swanson and Sally Dumont - who alerted police.
Police surrounded the building and the area, and several hours later, found him hiding in the rafters of the convention building's ceiling.
Swanson says they spotted Chang in the kitchen area later yesterday evening. She says he was relaxed, sipping on a Coke. "We came in the back door, we unlocked it, we stopped and realized there was someone in the chair. He stood up, looked at us and said - it's time to go."
She says Chang got up and quietly proceeded to go back to his hiding place - in the ceiling of the building, where police believe he's been hiding out for the past week. Swanson says they'd heard reports of Chang in recent weeks on TV and knew that police considered him armed and dangerous.
"We looked at each other and she [Sally] got on the phone immediately and there was no doubt in our minds that's who they were looking for," said Swanson.
Chang will be charged next week with attempted murder and first degree assault in the brutal attack on Karen Lange along the Umatilla River Parkway. The assault took place on August 9. He also faces a murder charge in the stabbing death of 19-year-old Amy Jane Brandhagen at a Pendleton Motel last year.
Umatilla County District Attorney Dan Primus says this has been a good day. "It's an absolute relief for everyone in the community. I know law enforcement has really put a lot of resources, time, and emotion into this case, so it's a relief for them as well."
Primus says the investigation has revealed Chang served in the military. "He spent some time in the Marine Corps and after some time in the service, we found that he had deserted the corps. We are also investigating any ties Chang may have to other unsolved cases in our area.
As for Swanson, she says she's going to sleep a little easier tonight. "I'm just glad that he's off the streets and can't hurt anybody else."
It's remains unclear why Chang was in this area, and Primus says that is one of the biggest questions investigators still have.
He is being held at the Umatilla County Jail on a $10 million bail. He will be formally arraigned and charged on Sept 4.