Powellhurst-Gilbert man charged with sister’s murder

It is unclear why he stabbed his sister to death – especially because the two siblings lived in the same apartment complex. Here are the details of this sad and troubling story …

Both the accused and the victim of the sororicide lived in different units of this same apartment complex on SE Division Street.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Friends of 52-year-old Theresa Ann Rockwood were just concerned about her at first. When no one could reach her for a week, some went to check on her.

Her dog, which friends said she dearly loved, was unfed. Neighbors said her car, parked in the complex lot, hadn’t moved in seven days. It was suggested they call police and ask them to check with her brother, 54-year-old Joseph F. Rockwood, who also lived at Stonehenge Apartments in a different unit.

Police immediately suspect foul play
“Officers from East Precinct were dispatched for a ‘welfare check’ at Joseph Rockwood’s apartment at 11:39 a.m. on November 7,” reported the Portland Police Bureau spokesman, Sgt. Brian Schmautz.

“When Rockwood answered the door, they noted a strong odor of decomposition that led the officers to investigate further,” Schmautz told us. “They found his sister, Theresa, in Joseph’s bathroom with multiple stab wounds. He was arrested on probable cause of murder.”

The medical examiner confirmed the woman had met an untimely death, and then confirmed her identity with dental records.

Police suspect this man, 54-year-old Joseph F. Rockwood, stabbed his own sister to death.

Thought to be mentally ill
According to police records, Joseph Rockwood suffers from mental illness. What led up to the suspected murder, however, remains unclear.

Rockwood was arraigned on November 10 on one count of murder.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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