Steve Milner, 55, was arrested yesterday and charged with the murder of Kenneth Fandrich, 56, who was found dead Jan. 27 in a parking garage on the Intel campus in Hillsboro where Fandrich worked.
A coroner has ruled his death to be the result of “blunt force trauma to his neck,” according to Fandrich’s wife of 30 years, Tanya.
Milner is now in the Washington County Jail, booked on charges of second-degree murder, stalking and violating a stalking order. His arraignment is scheduled for this afternoon. The Hillsboro Police Department tells WW an autopsy showed Fandrich was murdered and that “the cause of death remains under investigation.”
Fandrich’s death comes after a yearslong effort to stop Milner from stalking Fandrich and his wife—including appeals to law enforcement that were not always successful.
“Milner was interjecting himself into our lives before this stalking order—before we had anybody listening to us. We rarely ever went anywhere alone. We always tried to stay together,” Tanya Fandrich told WW this morning.
She called police after Fandrich stopped returning calls Friday night, and used Find My iPhone to direct officers to Fandrich.
Fandrich was found dead in his car. His phone was beside him on the passenger seat, Tanya says.
“I never thought this would happen. Never. I thought he [Milner] was just being an asshole,” she adds.
Kenneth Fandrich told police that Milner and Tanya Fandrich had an affair while she was an employee at Milner’s Oregon City veterinary hospital years earlier.
Milner bailed Tanya Fandrich out of jail after she was arrested following a domestic dispute with Kenneth Fandrich a few years ago. She said she and Milner hadn’t been in contact since.
Kenneth Fandrich filed a civil lawsuit last year, accusing Milner of extensive stalking, including planting a GPS device on his car, an act that Fandrich claims police told him was “not against the law” after the Clackamas County bomb squad were called to remove it.
(Neither the Oregon City Police Department nor the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office responded to a request for comment from WW at the time.)
In March, Fandrich called 911 after Milner began following him to work in his car. A Hillsboro police officer pulled Milner over and warned him he’d end up in jail if he kept up the harassment, a warning that Milner did not seem “receptive” to heeding, the officer noted.
Milner was not arrested or cited.
Meanwhile, Fandrich feared for his life. He believed Milner would “cut me up into little pieces because he is a surgeon,” he told a police officer. A few weeks later, he applied for a stalking order.
Milner was arrested for violating that order last year. In the civil lawsuit, Fandrich presented images that he claimed showed Milner attaching another GPS device to the underside of his truck. Milner was released at the time and ordered to have no contact with Fandrich or his wife.
The civil case was pending a response from Milner’s legal team, which had requested additional time given “significant issues” in the case.
“If the court had not granted Mr. Milner’s requests to delay this action, my client might have been able to secure civil justice,” says attorney Michael Fuller, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Fandrich. “Now that is impossible.”