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Court documents allege son bound, beat father before death

Nicholas Krochmal Jr. faces murder charge in death of father.

TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Tigard Police say a 38-year-old Lake Oswego man turned himself in after allegedly murdering his father in their childhood home. It is the second homicide in Tigard this year. When Natalie Krochmal came home late last week, she thought nothing of the fact that her brother was blocking the entryway into the living room.

It was in that room, police say, that her 73-year-old father was lying, bound and bloody.

Nicholas Krochmal, 73, died on Friday, March 27. His son, Nicholas Krochmal Jr., 38, of Lake Oswego, turned himself into police custody later that day and is charged with his father's murder.

So far, little information has been released about the killing. Jim Wolf, a Tigard Police spokesman, said that little information would likely be released this week.

“They (investigators) are still digging into the investigation,” Wolf said. “We are not releasing any information relative to that.”

A probable cause affidavit filed in Washington County Circuit Court last week answers some questions. Police were called to the home in 9500 block of Southwest 69th Avenue near Taylors Ferry Road at about 3:15 a.m. on Friday, March 27.

That’s when Natalie Krochmal discovered her father’s body, court documents say.

Father bound with rope

Natalie Krochmal had returned to the home at about 10 p.m. on Thursday, March 26. Her brother was at the home, and was standing in a doorway separating the kitchen from the living room.

The home has been owned by the Krochmals for decades, and Natalie Krochmal told police she thought nothing of her brother’s odd behavior. She believed her brother was standing that way because a pre-existing back injury was causing him pain.

Nick Krochmal Jr.She told police she went into the backyard to play with her dog, re-entering the house about two hours later, where she found her brother in the same position, blocking the door.

She told police she went into the backyard to play with her dog, re-entering the house about two hours later, where she found her brother in the same position, blocking the door.

Natalie Krochmal said she did not believe anyone else was in the home, and decided to take a nap on a couch in an adjoining room. When she woke at about 3:15 a.m., she did not believe her brother was still in the home. Walking into the living room, she discovered her father’s body.

His legs had been tied together with rope, the affidavit claimed. He had blood on his face and head and he was lying on several towels and a barber’s cape, which was covered in blood.

Packages of rubber gloves and trash bags were found next to the body.

Natalie Krochmal called 911, saying that her father was unresponsive and with emergency responders on their way, she attempted to resuscitate him. Krochmal Sr. died at the scene.

“Examination of Mr. Krochmal Sr. revealed blunt force trauma to his head,” the affidavit read. A state medical examiner would later agree with that assessment, determining that he died of blunt force trauma.

Later that day, Tigard Police received a phone call from Krochmal Jr.’s attorney, saying that the 38-year-old man would turn himself in later that day, which he did at about 3:45 p.m.

Police said Krochmal Jr. declined to speak with police about the incident.

No motive released

Police have not released a motive or possible murder weapon, but court documents filed this week say that Krochmal Jr. owed his father a significant amount of money.

The probable cause affidavit doesn’t specify how much money, but police said Krochmal Jr.’s mother, Cheryl Krochmal — who died in 2014 — had emailed her son before her death, asking that he repay the money his father had loaned him.

“During an examination of Nicholas Krochmal Jr. I noted numerous marks on his hands and arms similar in appearance to wounds, which may have been caused by a knife,” police officer Lloyd Foulkes wrote in the probable cause affidavit. “Nicholas Krochmal Jr. did not comment on these injuries.”

Krochmal Jr., is charged with one count of murder. He is being held in the Washington County Jail without bail.

Krochmal Jr. was arraigned Monday afternoon. He faces a single charge of murder, but Wolf said that a grand jury would hear the case later this week, where additional charges may be filed.

Krochmal Sr.’s death is the second homicide in Tigard this year, coming nearly two months after Jerry Duy Nguyen was gunned down in front of his child's home on Southwest Cantbury Lane in Tigard.

The alleged killer in that case, Orlando Pouncey, was dating Nguyen’s ex-wife, police said, and got into an argument with him when he came to pick up his son. He was arrested in Washington and faces charges of murder, unlawful use of a weapon and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

By Geoff Pursinger
email: gpursinger@commnewspapers.com
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