- Associated Press - Sunday, February 28, 2016

UMATILLA, Ore. (AP) - Oregon prison officials say a 60-year-old inmate serving time for murdering his girlfriend has died at a Portland area hospital after being found unresponsive in his cell.

The Department of Corrections says prison staff found Joel Abbott at Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla on Saturday. He died at about 5 p.m.

The Bend Bulletin reports (https://goo.gl/zD0PRd ) that Abbott was serving a life sentence for killing 35-year-old Carolann Payne. She was 35 when she disappeared in 1985. Despite searches, her body was never found.

Abbott lived in Redmond at the time Payne went missing. He was arrested in Portland in May 1992 following a lengthy investigation by the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

In tape recordings made by an informant, Abbott said he took Payne to a remote area of the county and shot her, returning later to bury the remains.

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Information from: The Bulletin, https://www.bendbulletin.com


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