Vancouver native identified as Oregon slaying victim

By Ray Legendre, Columbian staff writer

Published:

Updated: June 28, 2011, 6:19 PM

 

Oregon authorities have identified a 49-year-old Vancouver native as the victim of a weekend slaying in Lincoln County.

Darrin Dow was found dead Sunday in the Lincoln City house he owned, Lincoln County District Attorney Rob Bovett said Tuesday. Authorities have not yet released information on the circumstances of his death or a possible motive.

For more than five decades, Dow’s family owned Dow Columbia, a Portland-based business that cleaned Oriental rugs and later restored buildings damaged by fire, water and mold across the region, including Clark County. Darrin Dow served as chief operating officer prior to the family’s sale of the business in 2006.

More details about Dow’s death are expected to emerge today when the suspect in his death, Joseph Marsala, 17, makes his first appearance in a Lincoln County courtroom, Bovett said. Marsala, a Milwaukie, Ore., resident, could face between 25 years to life in prison if convicted of Dow’s death, according to Oregon murder statutes.

Authorities have said Dow, Marsala and a second teen, whose name has not been released, journeyed to the Oregon Coast together. After Dow’s death, Marsala allegedly fled the scene in the deceased man’s Cadillac SUV. Portland authorities later recovered the vehicle in their city.

The second teen called police to tell them he witnessed a homicide. He provided them with the address of the crime scene at 2144 N.E. Reef Ave. in Lincoln City. Dow was a resident of Tigard, Ore., in Washington County.

Marsala could face additional charges besides murder, Bovett said. The district attorney added, “I can’t speculate because our senior prosecutor is working” on the probable cause affidavit and charges.

Darrin Dow had his own scrapes with the law in recent years due to drugs, authorities said.

He was enrolled in a drug court program in Multnomah County at the time of his death, Bovett said. The nature of the charges that resulted in him being enrolled in the diversion program were not immediately known.

Darrin Dow had not been active in his family business for several years, said Sue Blackburn, general manager for Dow Columbia. Dow’s Facebook page says he left in April 2006 when the family’s business was “sold to outsider by Reed Dow.”

“We have the name, but we’re not connected,” Blackburn said, regarding the company’s current relationship to Darrin Dow.

Dow’s brother, Reed Dow, served as chief executive officer prior to the business’s sale. He has since founded Reed Dow & Associates, a restoration and consulting business.

Reed Dow declined comment about his brother’s death when reached by phone Tuesday.

Darrin Dow most recently served as president of Electronics Restoration in Portland. According to his Facebook page, he had owned the cleaning business since December 2007.

An Electronics Restoration employee who picked up the company’s phone Tuesday afternoon said no one was available to comment on Dow’s death.

Ray Legendre: 360-735-4517, ray.legendre@columbian.com//www.twitter.com/col_smallcities//www.facebook.com/raylegend