PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A 24-year-old Murphy man confessed to his mother that he killed a 70-year-old man, according to court documents and Oregon State Police.
Troy M. Dawson is charged with murder and first-degree arson. According to OSP, detectives are continuing with their investigation into the death of Michael Eugene Benedict Sr., whose body was found on Oct. 6 in the 1500 block of Board Shanty Creek Road in Murphy.
Dawson was quickly named a person of interest in the case and detectives released his photo as they looked to the public for help locating him.
On October 7, police received several calls reporting a person matching the description of Dawson walking in the area of Red Spur and Summit Loop.
According to court documents Dawson killed Benedict with an “unknown weapon” inside Benedict’s residence and then dragged his body outside and placed it into a 5th wheeler trailer.
“Dawson then ignited the 5th wheel trailer which burnt to the ground with the body of Benedict still inside,” according to court documents.
Dawson, records show, admitted to his mother that he killed Benedict.
Murphy is an unincorporated community in Josephine County. It is roughly 4 hours south of Portland and to the west of Medford.