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Apr 08,2008
Police ask public’s help in locating attempted arsonist
by Bend Weekly News Sources

GRESHAM, Ore. -- Police are seeking the public's help in locating a woman who, angry with the Department of Human Services over losing her parental rights, allegedly tried to burn the agency's building down in Gresham two years ago.

Marlene Chenette - GPD photo 
In November 2005, Gresham Police officers were dispatched to what appeared to be a broken window at the Gresham DHS building at 335 NW Division. Since it did not appear that anyone had entered the building, police boarded up the window. The following day, DHS employees discovered Molotov cocktails and a rock had been thrown through a window, but hadn’t ignited.

DHS employees identified a woman who had allegedly threatened them when she lost her parental rights, police reported.

After a lengthy investigation, analysis of physical evidence, and interviews with DHS employees, police identified Christopher Coopersmith and Marlene Chenette as suspects in the crime. Both Coopersmith, 32, of Portland, and Chenette, 27, were indicted on charges of first-degree attempted arson and warrants were issued for their arrest.

Coopersmith was arrested on March 26, 2008 for his alleged role in the attempted arson. Chenette is still outstanding and her location is unknown. Police said she has additional warrants out of Hood River and Clackamas counties, and ask anyone with information regarding her whereabouts to call police.

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