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Hero Down: Oregon State Police Sgt. Marcus McDowell Found Dead Of Suicide In Patrol Car

Joseph, OR – Oregon State Police (OSP) Sergeant Marcus “Marc” McDowell died by suicide in his patrol car on March 29, according to police.

The veteran trooper was on duty when his body was discovered inside his patrol car parked in the driveway of his residence, The Oregonian reported.

Sgt. McDowell, 48, suffered a single gunshot wound to the head, according to the OSP.

The State Medical Examiner’s Office determined the sergeant’s manner of death was suicide.

The Wallowa County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) was handling the ongoing investigation into Sgt. McDowell’s death.

Wallowa County Sheriff Joel Fish said Sgt. McDowell’s marriage of 24 years was ending and that he had “made notice” of his suicide, The Oregonian reported.

Sheriff Fish would not comment on whether or not the pending divorce played a role in the sergeant’s death.

“In the end, who really knows,” he told The Oregonian.

The sheriff said the loss of Sgt. McDowell has impacted the entire tight-knit community.

“The entire Oregon State Police family is grief-stricken by the loss of Sergeant Marcus McDowell,” the OSP said in a press release on Thursday. “Our hearts go out to his family, friends and co-workers as they cope with this tragic incident.”

Sgt. McDowell served in the Patrol Division, the Fish and Wildlife Division, and as a K9 handler during his 17 years of service to the OSP.

He was most recently assigned to the La Grande Patrol Office.

The OSP said Sgt. McDowell was well-respected by his fellow troopers.

“The Oregon State Police thanks the members of the public and other public safety partners for their support during this difficult time,” the agency’s press release read.

Sgt. McDowell leaves behind his children, Alysa and Austin, according to his obituary.

He is also survived by his mother, siblings, uncles, and aunts.

Sgt. McDowell will be laid to rest on April 4.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Oregon State Police Sergeant Marcus “Marc” McDowell, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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