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Jan-10-2010 21:25printcomments

Couple Arrested in Murder of 3-Year Old Child in Sandy

Four additional children of the arrested couple were taken by Child Custody officials.

27-year old Donald L. Cockrell and 24-year old Michelle N. Smith were arrested on Murder charges in Oregon 1-10-09
27-year old Donald L. Cockrell and 24-year old Michelle N. Smith were arrested on Murder charges, regarding Cockrell's three-year old child. Photo: Clackamas Sheriff's Office

(CLACKAMAS, Ore.) - Clackamas County Sheriff's Office investigators continued their investigation of the the death of a three-year-old child in Sandy that was reported Saturday.

Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Spokesman, Det. Jim Strovink, says officials are not releasing the name of the child.

Strovink says a forensic autopsy was performed on the victim child Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. at the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office, in Clackamas. It is expected that the results will be released Monday morning.

Investigators say the child lived at the residence with the biological father; who is identified as 27-year old Donald L. Cockrell, who resides on SE Cottontail Lane, in Sandy.

In addition, this residence was occupied at the time by the fiancée of Donald Cockrell; who is identified as 24-year old Michelle N. Smith. Strovink says the home on SE Cottontail in Sandy belongs to the parents of Michelle Smith.

Strovink said, "It is important to note: these parents of Michelle Smith reside in separate living quarters inside the home; occupying a separate level of the home -- apart from their daughter Michelle, her fiancé Donald Cockrell and minor children."

Investigators discovered this residence was the home of five minor children. Two of the children residing there are identified as Donald Cockrell's biological children. One is the deceased 3-year old child.

The additional three minor children present in the residence at the time of this death are identified as children of Michelle Smith. "On Saturday afternoon, when this death investigation was first reported and launched by Clackamas County Sheriff's Office investigators, representatives from the Clackamas County Department of Health, Housing and Human Services (Previously known as Clackamas County Department of Human Services) were summoned to the residence to assist and formally remove the four minor children from the residence," Strovink said.

These children are all now in the protective custody of the Clackamas County Department of Health, Housing and Human Services.

Conclusion of Investigation

Both Michelle Smith and Donald Cockrell were arrested by Clackamas County Sheriff's Office detectives as a result of what Strovink called an extensive death investigation, and lodged in the Clackamas County Jail.

They are charged with Murder, Strovink said.

Smith and Cockrell have no previously recorded criminal history of arrests. They are expected to be arraigned on this matter in Clackamas County Circuit Court, on Monday, January 11, 2010 at 3:00 p.m.

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