Man charged with murder in death of woman found on south Salem street

Police arrested a Salem man Thursday, accusing him of murdering a woman who was found dead a month ago on a south Salem street.

Atilano Davalos III, 38, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 28-year-old Carla F. Vasquez of Salem, the Salem Police Department said in a news release.

The agency said that its SWAT team helped detectives arrest Davalos in the 2900 block of Northeast Mendocino Drive in northeast Salem. Marion County court records showed that Davalos lives on that block.

Police said he was lodged at Marion County Jail.

Salem police have provided no details about Vasquez’s death, only describing it as suspicious. 

She was found dead on May 23 just before 2 a.m. in the 1000 block of Southeast Rural Avenue. The street runs next to South Salem High School’s athletic fields.

Davalos has convictions dating back to 2006, including fourth-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon, recklessly endangering another person, driving under the influence of intoxicants and a hit-and-run causing property damage, according to Marion County court records.

His arrest comes about a week after police asked the public to help identify a driver who was in the area at the time Vasquez’s body was found. Surveillance video showed the driver heading east on Rural Avenue and passing Southeast Church Street minutes before someone called police to report that a woman was lying in the roadway.

Salem police did not immediately respond to a written question about whether they had located that driver or vehicle.

Carla Vasquez, 28, was found dead in the 1000 block of Southeast Rural Avenue near South Salem High School on May 23 just before 2 a.m. (Google Maps)


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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.