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May-17-2007 11:18printcomments

Brooke Wilberger Murder Suspect Faces New Charges in Oregon

Brooke Wilberger disappeared in 2004.
Photo of Brooke courtesy: State of Oregon
Other photos courtesy:

(CORVALLIS, Ore.) - A new indictment has been brought against Joel Patrick Courtney, a suspect in the abduction and murder of college student Brooke Wilberger who disappeared from a Corvallis apartment complex May 24th, 2004.

Brooke was a University of New Mexico student in 2004.

Courtney in 1991

Courtney faces new charges, according to a New Mexico jail Web site. He remains in custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Albuquerque, N.M., awaiting trial for kidnapping and rape charges.

The indictment charges two counts of Attempted Murder, four counts of Attempted Kidnapping, two counts of sex abuse, two counts of sodomy, and two counts of rape.

At this point, local prosecutors have little to say about the development. Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson views the Wilberger case as an ongoing tragedy, but Courtney will remain in New Mexico for some time. He told reporters, “having been involved in the Wilberger case from the beginning, I’m in a position to make a decision about whether to file additional charges should the evidence warrant it.”

Brooke Wilberger's disappearance from the Oak Park Apartment complex in Corvallis in 2004 drew the response of hundreds of searchers who combed the area in search of any clue that may have led to her location.

Courtney was indicted by a Benton County Grand Jury a year after her disappearance. To date, Brooke Wilberger’s body has not been found.

Courtney in 1985

Courtney will probably appear in court Sept. 10th, 2007 on the new charges. He is scheduled to head to Oregon via extradition after his New Mexico case has been dcecided, to face charges in Benton County for Brooke Wilberger’s rape and murder.

Courtney, born June 2nd, 1966 in Beaverton, Oregon. He attended both Beaverton and Sunset High Schools. Courtney left school in 1984. In 1985, he was charged with attempted rape and first-degree sex abuse in Oregon's Washington County.

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