SALEM &

The man behind the wheel of a vehicle that collided head-on with a patrol car in June, killing a Marion County deputy, has been indicted by a grand jury on homicide charges, authorities said.

Police were searching this week for Alfredo De Jesus-Ascenio, 20, of Woodburn. He was critically injured in the crash that killed deputy Kelly Fredinburg, 34, of Independence. De Jesus-Ascenio's passenger, Oscar Ascenio-Amaya, 19, of Woodburn, also died in the crash on Highway 99E near Gervais.

De Jesus-Ascenio was hospitalized for several weeks at Oregon Health Science University hospital in Portland. He was released last month and is believed to be using a walker.

De Jesus-Ascenio was last known to be in the Woodburn area on Aug. 9, the Oregon State Police said Wednesday.

The homicide charges against De Jesus-Ascenio were not made public until Wednesday, said Don Abar, a deputy district attorney in Marion County.

"When we do a secret indictment, it's not public record," he said. "We can't say anything about it until he is arrested. But there is a circumstance where if we're looking for somebody, and we need help in apprehension, then we can make some of it public. That's what we've done, but I don't feel comfortable talking about the indictment."

A judge issued an arrest warrant for De Jesus-Ascenio about 10 days ago, Abar said.

De Jesus-Ascenio was driving a Ford Crown Victoria when he reportedly crossed into the southbound lane and collided with the patrol car.

The patrol car caught fire and the deputy died at the scene.

State police investigated the crash for more than month before giving the results to the Marion County District Attorney's Office to determine whether to pursue charges.

Abar attributed the lag time to "a lot" of accident reconstruction work.

Kevin Fredinburg, the deputy's brother, said he understands why the investigation took the time it did, but he hopes the suspect has not left the U.S.

"If the driver of the car was any type of man, he'd step forward and take the consequences," Fredinburg said.