Man arrested, linked to Central Point murder

A homeless man has been arrested in New Mexico in connection with a September murder in Central Point.

Richard Lee Pruitt, 40, will be transported to Jackson County to face allegations that he killed 47-year-old Darin Lynn Drake on Sept. 29, said Tim Barnack, county deputy district attorney. Barnack filed the case with Jackson County Circuit Court Friday morning, and a warrant was issued for Pruitt's arrest.

Two men found Drake's body along the Bear Creek Greenway near Interstate 5's Central Point interchange. Police say he died that day.

Drake was last seen the previous evening at the Circle K store on Central Point's Pine Street.

Although transient, Drake had lived in Central Point for some time and had family locally, Oregon State Police investigators said.

According to Circuit Court records, his last known address was in the 100 block of North Sixth Street.

The cause and manner of Drake's death were not released following an autopsy, but officials said he was assaulted.

Circuit Court records show Pruitt was convicted of harassment in 2004. A misdemeanor assault count was dismissed in that case.

Drake was convicted of misdemeanor assault and harassment in 2002 and 2005 domestic violence cases.

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