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Union County Triple Homicide Suspect Captured in Thurston County, Washington
08/03/2009
Tim Thompson
Union County District Attorney
Union County Major Crime Team
(541) 963-1007

The suspect wanted in connection with three murders in Union County, Oregon was captured within the last 30 minutes in Thurston County, Washington. GREGORY ALVIN COOK (aka Gregory Alvin Mitts), age 42, was arrested by Thurston County Sheriff's Office working in cooperation with the Union County Major Crime Team (UCMCT).
 
COOK was the subject of an intensive search for the homicide involving Shannon M. McKillop, age 51, whose remains were discovered in Union County near Elgin, Oregon on July 24, 2009. On August 1, 2009, the UCMCT located additional human remains in a secluded area north of Elgin. Tentative identification has been made of two (2) individuals. Based on the information developed during the investigation and evidence at the scene, the remains are believed to be those of Frank M. Scaramuzzi, age 50, and Jeremiah H. Johnston, age 28, both from Elgin. Appropriate notifications to next of kin have been made.
 
Investigators believe the two individuals were killed very close in time and at the same location, but separately from, Shannon McKillop. All three individuals were known to each other and to COOK. They were last seen together at the same time and location in mid-July, 2009.

 
Investigators have probable cause to believe that COOK is responsible for all three murders. COOK has been charged with Murder for his alleged involvement in the Shannon McKillop homicide, according to Union County District Attorney Tim Thompson, and an arrest warrant has been issued for his arrest. Murder is an Unclassified Felony with a potential sentence of life imprisonment with a 25 year minimum period of incarceration. COOK has also been charged with two (2) counts of Aggravated Murder, an Unclassified Felony with possible maximum penalties of death, life imprisonment without parole, or life imprisonment with a 30 year minimum for each count as a result of his involvement in the deaths of Frank Scaramuzzi and Jeremiah Johnston. Aggravated Murder differs from Murder if murder is committed under specific circumstances identified in the statute. The specific circumstances alleged in this case involve the commission of multiple murders during the course of the same criminal episode.
 
The Union County Major Crimes Team is comprised of detectives from the Union County Sheriff's Office, La Grande Police Department, Elgin Police Department, Oregon State Police and Union County District Attorneys Office.
 
Legal and ethical considerations, as well as attorney/media guidelines, restrict dissemination of additional information at this time.