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Apr-04-2013 18:52printcomments

Linn County Detectives Arrest Suspect for 1990 Murder of Rachanda Pickle

Rachanda's body has never been located.

Rachanda Leah Pickle
Rachanda Leah Pickle

(ALBANY, OR) - Linn County detectives arrested a man for murder related to the 1990 disappearance of Rachanda Leah Pickle.

John Ackroyd

In the early morning hours of July 10, 1990 John and Linda Ackroyd left their residence at the Oregon Department of Transportation shops at the Santiam Junction in east Linn County, Oregon. Linda was dropped off at work by John Arthur Ackroyd, now 63 years old, who then drove to his workstation in Bend, Oregon. John Ackroyd left work early and returned to his residence at the Santiam Junction. He claimed his 13-year old stepdaughter, Rachanda Leah Pickle, was inside the residence when he arrived home.

John Ackroyd stated he left the residence and returned later in the afternoon to find Rachanda missing. Believing there was a 24-hour wait-time to report Rachanda missing, John and Linda Ackroyd waited until the next morning to report her missing to law enforcement.

An extensive search was conducted in a large area surrounding the Oregon Department of Transportation facility at the Santiam Junction, Hoodoo Ski area, and Big Lake areas. The main search operation lasted several weeks and included many search teams from neighboring counties. Searches of other areas have been made periodically since Rachanda's disappearance.

Rachanda's body has never been located.

This case has been an ongoing investigation involving several detectives with the Linn County Sheriff's Office during the 22 years since Rachanda's disappearance. Due to advances in technology, electronic databases, and unidentified and missing persons databases to case was submitted to the Linn County District Attorney for consideration prosecute John Arthur Ackroyd for Rachanda Pickle's murder.

On Tuesday, April 2, John Ackroyd was arrested and transported to the Linn County Jail for the homicide of Rachanda Pickle. He was arrested at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, where he is serving a life sentence for the murder of Kaye Turner on December 24, 1978 in Camp Sherman, Oregon. He was arraigned yesterday in Linn County Circuit Court where bail was set at $1 million.

He was returned to the Oregon State Penitentiary immediately after his arraignment.

His next court appearance is scheduled for May 8, 2013.

(Press release from the Linn County Sheriff's Office)

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