A 40-year-old man who was convicted at age 15 of raping and killing a high school classmate is set to be released from jail next month.
Conrad Engweiler has served more than 24 years at the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem for the aggravated murder, rape and sodomy of 16-year-old Erin Tonna Reynolds in 1990. The incident occurred in the Portland suburb of Beaverton.
On Tuesday, the Oregon parole board decided that Engweiler would be eligible for parole.
Before approving his release, the parole board ordered Engweiler to undergo three separate psychological evaluations. As The Oregonian reports, none of the doctors found him to be a danger to himself or to others.
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Engweiler will spend his life on parole and will be obligated to register as a sex offender. He will also be closely monitored for at least the first three years after his release, which has been deferred until Oct. 16.
Reynolds, a cancer survivor, was reported as a missing person by her parents on the evening of Feb. 21, 1990, when she missed her curfew.
The next morning, Engweiler’s father called the police after he reported that his son was missing, and that a strange car was parked outside his home.
The car was identified as Reynolds’; as officers inspected the home, dogs began barking in the back yard. Drag marks to a ravine led to the teenager’s body, which had been hidden under a pile of debris.
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Reynolds was murdered mere days after doctors had told her that she was cancer-free.
After Engweiler was found hiding out in his mother’s attorney’s home, he was taken into custody.
At the time of his conviction, Engweiler, who had previously taken Reynolds on several dates, told the court that he had been under the influence of LSD and marijuana when he murdered her.
In 1991, Engweiler was sentenced to life in prison with the chance of parole after 40 years. Because he was a minor at the time of the crime, he was exempt from the death penalty under Oregon state law.
At a May hearing, Engweiler stated that his time in prison has taught him remorse, empathy and compassion.
The Oregonian reports that the court’s decision to release Engweiler goes against Reynolds’ family’s pleas, who have begged that Engweiler remain in jail for the rest of his life.