Evidence so far points to Criado

After five days investigating the largest single homicide case in Jackson County's modern history, Medford police have turned up no evidence to suggest that anyone but Jordan Criado was responsible for the stabbings and arson fire that killed his wife and four young children Monday, authorities said.

Initial evidence collected during the gruesome scene when firefighters pulled all six family members from the smoldering West 10th Street house has been bolstered by more evidence collected in a search of the house and from witness interviews, police said.

"We still believe that he is the suspect," said Police Chief Tim George, who declined to discuss evidence specifics Friday. "We are not discounting any other information. We don't have our blinders on. The investigation is continuing and what we initially said we still maintain."

Police late Thursday took down the yellow tape around the Criados' house at 1027 W. 10th St. and the house's owner boarded up the windows and doors, Medford police Lt. Scott Clauson said.

The city of Medford's Building Department posted it as an unsafe building, while the large collection of stuffed animals, cards and flowers that have served as a public memorial to the family remained Friday afternoon.

Preliminary autopsy results show 30-year-old Tabasha Paige-Criado died from multiple stab wounds to her neck and abdomen, while 6-year-old Isaac and 5-year-old Andrew died from stab wounds to the neck and also suffered probable carbon monoxide poisoning from the arson fire, police said.

The autopsies also concluded 7-year-old Elijah and 2-year-old Aurora probably died from carbon monoxide poisoning from inhaling smoke from the arson fire, but final results were pending toxicology tests that could take several weeks to complete, police said.

Paige-Criado and Criado were the biological parents of all four children, Medford police Deputy Chief Tim Doney said.

Police believe Criado stabbed all five members, then set a series of small arson fires from which only he survived.

Criado on Friday remained unresponsive and in the intensive-care unit at Rogue Valley Medical Center. He suffered carbon monoxide and cyanide poisoning from smoke inhalation as well as a laceration to his left wrist, said Tamara Dixon, a nurse practitioner at RVMC.

Criado's condition was listed as critical for the fifth consecutive day, and he remained on a mechanical ventilator for breathing.

Police want to talk with Criado about what happened in the hours before a neighbor noticed smoke spewing from the house's eaves and called for emergency help at 9:23 a.m. Monday.

"He hasn't been able to speak to anybody," George said Friday. "The only thing that will change is, will he recover to a point for him to have an opportunity to talk to us?"

Investigators so far have not been able to find any living relatives of Criado.

Clauson said some of Paige-Criado's family members believe Criado once had a brother in central California who has been estranged from him since 1990, when Criado was convicted for molesting three girls under age 14 and went to prison for more than 11 years.

Should Criado not recover, that could set in motion a series of events that could determine whether he gets removed from life-support systems.

In general, the process for determining ethical decisions about withdrawing or withholding life-support systems from any patient follows a series of criteria steeped in medical history and law, said Dr. John Forsyth, a Medford cardiologist who serves on the ethics committees at RVMC and Providence Medford Medical Center.

If the patient is able to communicate, then his or her wishes "almost always" take priority, Forsyth said. If he or she cannot communicate, then state law lays out a series of prioritized potential "surrogate decision-makers," who primarily are adult family members, to make that decision for the family, Forsyth said.

Should no legally recognized surrogate be available, a hospital's ethics committee would make an advisory recommendation based on various criteria such as medical factors, the likelihood of recouping cognitive functions, any past verbal statements by the patient about his or her desires, and any possible extenuating circumstances, Forsyth said.

That recommendation would be passed on to the patient's doctors, who would make the ultimate decision, Forsyth said.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or email at mfreeman@mailtribune.com.

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