Person of interest in home invasion held in Montana

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MILTON-FREEWATER – A man and woman wanted for questioning in relation to the assault of a 79-year-old Umapine woman last week were arrested in Montana on investigation of possession of a stolen vehicle, according to Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan.

Dallas Smith, 32, and Chayla Hill, 19, were driving a car near Superior, Montana, that was reported stolen from the Stateline Road area in Milton-Freewater. According to Rowan, Smith is a person of interest in the Sheriff’s Office investigation into the assault on Joyce Key, in her home January 30.

“I sent detectives (to Montana) to interview them,” Rowan said. “We’re still waiting on the forensic evidence to come back.”

Rowan said detectives have taken DNA samples from Smith and Hill, but so far there has been nothing to link the pair with the assault.

Rowan also said the motive for the attack that left Key in critical condition last week is still not clear. Key, who was transported to Kadlec Medical Center in Richland for head trauma, is not yet able to communicate, according to Rowan, who said nothing obvious appeared to be stolen from Key’s home.

“We don’t know what items were in her house,” Rowan said.

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