One Of The Most Frightening Crime Strings Our Region Has Seen To - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

One Of The Most Frightening Crime Strings Our Region Has Seen To Air On Dateline

Posted: Updated:
On August 14th, 2012 the Travelodge in Pendleton transformed from a small local motel to the scene of a murder. As the acting officer in charge came on that scene he would soon realize what happened there was just the beginning. On August 14th, 2012 the Travelodge in Pendleton transformed from a small local motel to the scene of a murder. As the acting officer in charge came on that scene he would soon realize what happened there was just the beginning.
NBCRightNow.com – It's one of most frightening strings of crime our region has seen. A murder and a deadly attack that both occurred almost exactly a year apart in the tight-knit community of Pendleton, Oregon.

On August 14th, 2012 the Travelodge in Pendleton transformed from a small local motel into a crime scene. As the acting officer in charge came on that scene he would soon realize what happened there was just the beginning.

"As soon as one of my patrol sergeants arrived on scene, he requested my presence, which I knew then we were probably dealing with a homicide," explained Lieutenant Bill Caldera.

Amy Jane Brandhagen worked at the Travelodge as a housekeeper, known to many in her small city as a spiritual and kind person. She was also a close family friend of Caldera.

"I just can't tell you the...the feeling that went through...went through my mind," said Caldera fighting through tears.

"Almost like, she was your kid in a way," asked Dateline NBC correspondent Keith Morrison.

"Very much," replied Caldera.

Out for justice the Pendleton Police Department investigated the murder. They were left with a DNA sample but no match for a killer. It was a cold case for almost exactly one year.

On August 9th 2013 Karen Lange was attacked on the River Parkway in Pendleton. The weapon left behind gave officers what they needed to investigate… that same matching DNA found at Brandhagen's murder scene.

"I just...I shook my head. One of the detectives had gotten his hands on an image of Amy Jane Brandhagen and Karen Lange together," said Chief Stuart Roberts during his Dateline interview.

"It's the sort of thing that might make a person jump to a conclusion or two," remarked Morrison.

"It's... it certainly caused us to...to look in other directions," answered Roberts.

With matching DNA and surveillance video of the new attack a suspect was finally discovered. Media coverage circulated 23 year-old Lukah Chang's face throughout the region. He was recognized and caught. Everything up to that point lead police to one main question in their interview with Chang.

"Why?" asked the officer conducting an in-custody interview.

"See how it felt," said Chang.

"See how what felt?"

"Taking a life."

"Why?"

"I was curious."

"How did it feel?"

"Empowering. Saddening."

"Empowering and saddening at the same time?"

"Uh huh. Yes. Empowering because I took a life. Saddening because I realized at the sametime, life is precious."

The complete Dateline report airs Friday November 7th at 8 p.m. on NBC. 
  • Regional NewsMore>>

  • Moses Lake Police arrest suspects accused of passing off fake $100 bills

    Moses Lake Police arrest suspects accused of passing off fake $100 bills

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 4:25 PM EDT2018-04-24 20:25:27 GMT

    MOSES LAKE, Wash. - A Puyallup man and woman suspected of passing fake $100 bills across multiple states were arrested in Moses Lake Monday night.  Moses Lake Police posted photos of the two suspects on Monday after a man used two fake $100 bills at a Safeway, and a short time later a woman used a fake $100 bill at Rite Aide.

    MOSES LAKE, Wash. - A Puyallup man and woman suspected of passing fake $100 bills across multiple states were arrested in Moses Lake Monday night.  Moses Lake Police posted photos of the two suspects on Monday after a man used two fake $100 bills at a Safeway, and a short time later a woman used a fake $100 bill at Rite Aide.

  • NICU Flight Education Day

    NICU Flight Education Day

    Thursday, April 19 2018 10:23 PM EDT2018-04-20 02:23:20 GMT

    "This helps us take our basic skills and build on that foundation. It helps us continually work on those skills, run through scenarios. Perfect practice in these scenarios, so when that patient does arrive, we are better equipped and better trained to handle these at-risk premature infants."

    "This helps us take our basic skills and build on that foundation. It helps us continually work on those skills, run through scenarios. Perfect practice in these scenarios, so when that patient does arrive, we are better equipped and better trained to handle these at-risk premature infants."

  • How to find out if your Facebook information was stolen by Cambridge Analytica

    How to find out if your Facebook information was stolen by Cambridge Analytica

    Monday, April 9 2018 11:53 AM EDT2018-04-09 15:53:40 GMT

    Facebook is notifying roughly 87 million people who had their information scooped up by political research firm Cambridge Analytica recently.  About 70 million are in the United States, while the rest are primarily in the UK, Indonesia, and the Philippines.  If your information was stolen, a notification will appear at the top of your Facebook newsfeed, along with a new button for changing your privacy settings. Even if your information wasn't stolen, it might be a good ti...

    Facebook is notifying roughly 87 million people who had their information scooped up by political research firm Cambridge Analytica recently.  About 70 million are in the United States, while the rest are primarily in the UK, Indonesia, and the Philippines.  If your information was stolen, a notification will appear at the top of your Facebook newsfeed, along with a new button for changing your privacy settings. Even if your information wasn't stolen, it might be a good ti...