A man who barged into a home day-care center and kidnapped a 7-year-old girl is a suspect in a murder that occurred two days earlier in a city park.
The silver gun pressed against Kristina Jacobson’s head by Lance Sterling Alexander as police chased his stolen car 100 miles down Interstate 5 matches the description and caliber of the gun used in the killing, police said Friday. Ballistics experts were testing the gun.
The girl escaped with only minor injuries Thursday after Alexander was shot to death by a police marksman in the freeway median near Rice Hill, midway between Eugene and Roseburg in southwestern Oregon.
Police also said they had been seeking Alexander for questioning in the molestation of a small girl over the summer. Kristina, who was not assaulted, said Friday that Alexander told her he would keep her for “a couple of days. We’re going out of state, then I’ll let you go.”
Police said they were investigating links between Alexander and the shooting death of William Jason Mowdy, 23, who was found dead Tuesday night in Bush Park near downtown Salem. Besides the gun, police said, Alexander’s clothing was similar to clothing worn by the Bush Park gunman.
Kristina said she had never seen Alexander before he came to the door of the day-care center run by Chantiell Thomas. Her parents also said he was a stranger.
“We still don’t know why he targeted that particular house,” Salem police Lt. Roger Vinyard said.
Vinyard said Salem police had been trying to locate Alexander for questioning in the sexual abuse of a 4-year-old girl in June. Alexander was a casual acquaintance of the family.
Alexander had various, minor run-ins with the law dating back to 1985, when he was 14.
“There were things like family disturbances, a couple of assaults, and two drug arrests,” Vinyard said. “It was basically misdemeanor stuff.”
An old girlfriend, Carrie West of Portland, and a man who sold him a pickup truck in 1989, David Depweg of Keno, recalled that Alexander had been a pleasant young man but had a drug problem.
Kristina’s mother, Shanna Jacobson, said all three family members would seek counseling to help them cope with the ordeal.
“I know it’s a long road ahead of us,” she said.
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