Pendleton sex offender allegedly kidnapped teenage girl, tried to kill her

pendleton attempted murder suspect

PENDLETON, Ore. — Pendleton police arrested a convicted sex offender for allegedly trying to kidnap and murder a 16-year-old girl.

Just after 6:20 p.m. Friday, May 29, police received a 911 call about a girl screaming for help near the Highway 11 bridge and Northeast Riverside Avenue.

As officers began searching the area, the police department received another call about a badly injured female a 2612 NE Nursery Ln.

The girl, a 16-year-old from Pendleton, was found with head injuries, facial fractures and lost teeth as a result of an assault.

She was rushed to St. Anthony’s Hospital, then flown by helicopter to Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU) in Portland, where she remained in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for several hours before her condition stabilized.

The ensuing investigation relied heavily on forensic evidence and a vague description of the suspect provided by a transient male, who reported having contact with an unknown bloody male who was reportedly trying to carry or drag the victim.

Early Tuesday morning, detectives detained a person of interest and transported him to the Pendleton Police Department where they obtained a statement from him.

After speaking with 35-year-old Mathew Rhorer, they arrested him and booked him at the Umatilla County Jail on charges of attempted murder and first-degree kidnapping.

“It is believed that Rhorer did not know his victim before the assault,” police said.

Police said Rhorer is a registered sex offender who had been living in the area of Northeast Riverside Avenue.