Deputies search for murder suspect in North Plains homicide, family says he knew victim

A previous booking photo of Chad Brandon Pitcher. (Photo: Washington County Sheriff's Office)

PORTLAND, Ore. — Deputies are searching for a wanted murder suspect accused of shooting a man outside North Plains last week.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office identified 38-year-old Chad Brandon Pitcher on Tuesday night as a suspect in the homicide case out of North Plains.

The victim in the case, Michael Zven Arch, of Hillsboro, was found shot outside a house off Dairy Creek Road last Tuesday.

Responding paramedics tried to save his life, but were unsuccessful.

Investigators believe Arch and Pitcher knew each other. That's in part why Deputy Jeff Talbot, a spokes person for the Washington Sheriff's Office, says he doesn't believe there's a direct threat to the public.

"The suspect is not out targeting people out in the community. We still believe that," said Talbot.

Pitcher should be considered armed and dangerous, law enforcement said, because of the nature of the alleged crimes.

Deputies say the public should not approach Pitcher. Anyone who knows his whereabouts is asked to call (503) 629-0111.

Arch's brother, Joe Thai, tells KATU News he didn't know Pitcher personally, but forgives him.

"I don't seek justice, I seek salvation," said Thai.

Thai says Arch was the oldest of seven siblings and always did what was best for his family.

"Sometimes we had food in the house, but most of the time it was just bread and ketchup. I remember having ketchup on my bread and eating it," said Thai. "We'd always walk by 7-Eleven walking home form school and he'd stop by and steal some candy bars so we could eat something."

As they got older, Thai says his brother got into more serious trouble: he served 15 years in prison for a shooting in the 1990s. However, Thai says Arch came out a changed man. He had a job, a girlfriend, a place to live and connected back with his family.

Thai says his brother then suffered an accident that crippled him mentally and physically; Thai says he watched as his brother turned to drugs.

"He was a muscular athletic guy. As I would see him month after month, he just kept shrinking and you'd see it in his face," said Thai.

Michael eventually lost his job, his money and distanced himself from Joe and the rest of the family. Thai said his sibling went back to what he knew best - stealing. It landed him back in jail last year when he stole a motor home and fled from police.

"I saw that and it was like watching a tragic comedy," said Thai.

At this point, it had been years since the brothers had spoken. Thai remembers his reaction when he got the phone call that his brother had been murdered.

"I know when I do see him, that's when it's going to hit me and I'm going to realize that I'm not going to be able to reconnect with him," said Thai. "Mike's home now, no one else can hurt him."

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