Police recapture escaped murder suspect in downtown Hillsboro

By Alex Hasenstab (OPB)
Feb. 27, 2023 9:57 p.m.

A man charged with murder ran away from the Washington County Court House late Monday morning as jury selection was set to begin in his trial. He was recaptured after a roughly two-hour manhunt.

Edi Villalobos Jr., 28, is currently on trial for second-degree murder.

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Law enforcement launched a search for Villalobos in the downtown Hillsboro area as soon as he was discovered missing. Law enforcement asked people to shelter in place or avoid the area until Villalobos was captured.

Like all people in custody who are facing trial in Oregon, Villalobos was allowed to appear in court without shackles and in street clothes as a way to not prejudice potential jurors. As corrections officers removed Villalobos’ handcuffs, he ran and made it out of the first floor courtroom before quickly exiting the courthouse, according Danny DiPietro, a spokesperson with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Law enforcement launched a search using dogs and teams of people to methodically canvas downtown Hillsboro just after noon Monday.

After a few hours, police found Villalobos in the closet of a nearby apartment building, DiPietro said.

Villalobos is charged for multiple stabbings in 2021 in Clackamas and Washington counties that left one person dead and another critically wounded.


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