Woman found dead in Corvallis hotel room

A man faces assault and strangulation charges in the death.

Posted: Aug 11, 2020 5:54 PM
Updated: Aug 11, 2020 6:01 PM

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A woman was found dead in a hotel room in Corvallis on Monday, and a man is in custody.

George Spencer, 57, faces charges of second-degree assault, strangulation and fourth-degree assault at this time.

Officers found Gina Vargas, 41, dead on a hotel room bed at 345 NW 2nd St. just before 5:30 a.m.

Spencer reportedly met Vargas the day before. Police said Spencer told detectives he had taken methamphetamine, and had strangled Vargas over concerns he was being set up. He reported that he had been concerned by her "distant behavior."

After leaving the hotel room, he reportedly went to a downtown restaurant, where he tried to report he had been assaulted. The employee called police at Spencer’s request and officers arrived at about 4 a.m., police said. They added that he provided a false hotel room number and only had a scratch on his cheek.

Upon returning to his room, Spencer found a man there and worried his property was missing and again called police, authorities said. Officers arrived for the report of a theft and found Vargas’ body. The man involved in this incident was found and released without criminal charges.

The cause of Vargas’ death is under investigation. Spencer’s charges could change depending on the outcome of an autopsy and other forensic analysis.

Corvallis Police thanked the Benton County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Police Forensic Services Division for their help.

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