Suspect Charged In Woman's Murder

Photo: Ford, Brad

On August 5, 2022, the Sheriff’s Office took a missing person report from the family of 27-year-old Kaylee Birdzell. On August 7, deputies got information that Birdzell had been murdered and her body was put into the garbage at a local apartment complex. Detectives with the Violent Crimes Unit responded, and the investigation led them to believe Birdzell had been killed.

Detectives worked with a local waste management company to coordinate a search of the garbage from the apartment complex. That search was done on August 9 at a landfill in Benton County. Detectives found Birdzell’s body and worked with the Benton County Medical Examiner’s office to have the remains taken to the Oregon State Medical Examiner in Clackamas for an autopsy.

The autopsy was done on August 10 and confirmed the remains as Birdzell and the manner of death as a homicide. Detectives have been in regular contact with Birdzell’s family since the outset of the investigation and have kept them updated.

During the initial investigation on August 7, detectives contacted 31-year-old Fabian Albert Hernandez, who had been in a relationship with Birdzell. He was arrested that day on unrelated charges of identity theft and fraudulent use of a credit card. He remained in jail, and on August 10, detectives added charges of murder in the second degree and abuse of a corpse. Additional charges are likely as the investigation continues.

Detectives would like to speak with anyone who has information about Hernandez or Birdzell’s activities recently or details about her death. Please call the Sheriff’s Office 24/7 at 503-846-2700 with any tips.

Members of the Violent Crimes Unit are called upon to investigate serious violent crimes such as homicides, suspicious deaths, adult sexual assaults, kidnappings, robberies, extortion, serious assaults, elder abuse, and missing persons.

Source: Washington County Sheriff's Office

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