HILLSBORO, Ore. (March 2, 2023) — Robert Elmer Atrops, age 68, was arrested this morning, Thursday, March 2, 2023, for the 1988 murder of his estranged wife.

The Washington County Sheriff Office’s Tactical Negotiations Team facilitated the arrest at the defendant’s home in Newberg, Ore. around 4 a.m. Thursday morning after a Washington County Grand Jury issued an indictment charging Mr. Atrops with Murder in the Second Degree on Wednesday. He will be held without bail at the Washington County Jail. 

Detectives assigned to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office Cold Case Multidisciplinary Unit re-opened the case in 2021. The Cold Case Unit was formed in 2020 in partnership with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and funded by the Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Cold Case Unit is comprised of two cold case detectives, a forensic DNA consultant, a victim advocate and a prosecutor.

“I am proud of the work our Cold Case Unit has done to ensure that victims and cases are not forgotten, despite the passage of time,” said Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton.  “These dedicated investigators and prosecutors are sending a clear message that we will hold criminals accountable in Washington County — no matter how long it takes.”

To learn more about Washington County District Attorney’s Office Cold Case Unit, visit: https://www.washingtoncountyda.org/news/washington-county-district-attorneys-office-secures-grant-funding-investigate-cold-cases

Media contact information
Traci Muldoon
Public Information Officer
March 02, 2023