Mark Beebout murdered Mayra Sophia Cruz Rodriguez and Nikayla Powell before he was caught

Mayra Sophia Cruz Rodriguez and Nikayla Powell were both sexually assaulted and murdered by homeless man Mark Beebout, Det. Molly Daul  recounts how she helped bring the sexual predator to justice on The Wonderland Murders.

June 26, 2012, and the body of 15-year-old Mayra Sophia Cruz Rodriguez was found in Washington Park, Portland. Initially police were unable to establish who she was or how she’d been killed. They did know she’d been murdered and they also knew she’d been raped.

Then in July the same year another woman was raped and murdered, 32-year-old Nikayla Jaedon Powell was found dead in her apartment. She had been helping out registered sex offender Beebout and had allowed him to stay with herafter meeting through a homeless organization. This led to detectives regarding him as a suspect and they were able to track him down through his use of her credit cards and stolen car.

Mayra Sophia Cruz Rodriguez photo
Mayra Sophia Cruz Rodriguez was supposed to be getting help from Beebout, instead he raped and strangled her to death

On July 19 Beebout was arrested and charged with Powell’s murder, with DNA later leading to him being charged in Rodriguez’s killing as well. The charges against Beebout included aggravated murder, rape, assault, sodomy, sexual abuse and auto theft.

In February 2013, Beebout pleaded guilty to the aggravated murders and was given two consecutive life sentences.

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Nikayla Powell photo
Nikayla Powell was loving with Beebout when he sexually assaulted and then murdered her

Later in the same year he made a bizarre request to change his name to Yunus Mohammed for religious reasons, claiming he was now a muslim.

However, Powell’s relatives were keen for him to keep the name he committed his crimes under. His aunt wrote in a statement: “He wants to change his name and has feigned a religious conversion because of what he fears he will face from other prisoners when they find out his offenses.”

The judge rejected his request, stating it was not in the public interest.

The Wonderland Murders: Pacific Terror airs at 10:00 PM on Investigation Discovery.

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catherine dynes
catherine dynes
3 years ago

Nikki Powell was my friend. I wish they never crossed paths. She was working for a church group that did homeless outreach and she was not a trained social worker which made her more vulnerable to Beebout. She was kind soul who would give you the shirt off her back. I still think of Nikki, and this will always haunt me for the rest of my days. I also wrote a letter to the judge when Beebout applied for a name change because he had converted to the Muslim religion, obviously it was a ruse to obscure his record of crimes. This man had a history of predatory violent sex offenses and had been paroled prison previous with time off for good behavior for a previous crime he was serving sentence for. I did some research and this was clearly another systematic failure to keep these predatory offenders monitored tracked and in secure facility. They should never be released at all…This happens over and over again and yet the system is still inadequate in protecting society from these kind of dangerous predator’s. That’s what makes me the angriest. The failure to protect innocent potential victims. My condolences to Mayra’ s parents ,his second victim after he drove may friends car and used her credit cards.ate her food…I’m so sorry she had to cross paths with this dirt bag. .It’s too bad Oregon no longer has a death penalty since psychopaths like Beebout can’t be rehabilitated…

Cathy Cat Penn
Cathy Cat Penn
2 years ago

What happened to the dog? I am very sorry for the family lost! They should have killed him!

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