Aaron Friar Murder: Where Are Gavin MacFarlane and Ellen Friar Now?

Image Credit: KPIC

When the police received a distressing 911 call from Aaron Friar’s girlfriend about his disappearance along with his eldest daughter in 2017, they wasted no time in starting the investigation process. Meanwhile, the community was shocked and concerned to its core. Although the case was resolved in a quicker manner, it doesn’t take away the fact that it was a complicated case, as documented in the episode titled ‘Ellen Friar and Gavin MacFarlane’ of Oxygen’s ‘Snapped: Killer Couples.’ It also includes interviews with Aaron’s childhood friends, family members, and officials directly related to the case.

After His Disappearance, Aaron Friar’s Body Was Found in a Roadside Ditch

Having relocated to Oregon in 2000, 50-year-old Aaron Friar was a longtime resident of the city of Medford in Jackson County. Before settling in the Beaver State, he spent a major part of his life in his home state of California — over three decades, particularly in the city of Lompoc in Santa Barbara County. While growing up, he had the love and support of his parents and elder sister, Marie, whom he was quite close to. He was quick-witted and possessed the ability to lift people’s spirits even in the edgiest of situations. Owing to his compassionate and jolly nature, he had many friends and was valued by many. It was likely the personality of a young Aaron that attracted the attention of Maggie, and the began dating before eventually tying the tied the knot.

In the first eight years of their marriage, Aaron and Maggie made wonderful memories and added three beautiful daughters to their lives. The two doted on their daughters, but their relationship hit a roadblock after over a decade, and they decided to go their separate ways in 2014. Despite their divorce, the former couple stayed in touch and co-parented their kids without any issues. A year later, Aaron found love again and entered into a romantic relationship with Miki. The father of three worked as a handyman, had a loving girlfriend and also shared a cordial bond with his ex-wife. Everything seemed to be fine in Aaron’s life until he was taken away from the lives of his loved ones, forever.

Around 6:42 am on October 2, 2017, the police received a call from Miki, who couldn’t get in touch with either Aaron or Ellie, the oldest of his kids, and was worried for their well-being. On the fateful morning, Aaron’s then-11-year-old daughter was awoken from her slumber at 5 am when her 50-year-old father began screaming. She said all the yelling was followed by a loud sound that resembled a crash, which terrified her and her then-8-year-old sister enough that they stayed in their room. After a while, they mustered the courage and entered the living room in the dark, only for the then-11-year-old to get blood on her hands from their couch.

Aside from spotting all the blood in their house in the 500 block of Benson Street, they couldn’t find their father and Ellie anywhere. Frightened and anxious, the two girls reached out to their father’s girlfriend, Miki, who then called 911 to report the pair missing. The police began looking into the matter, and around 9:50 am, they found his vehicle in the 100 block of Mariposa Terrace. The remains of the father of three were found an hour later, tossed in a ditch on the 9100 block of East Antelope Road. The cause of death of Aaron Friar was determined to be blunt force trauma.

A Loved One and Her Acquaintance Planned to Kill Aaron Friar and Executed it

During the police interview about the entire ordeal, Aaron’s 11-year-old daughter also claimed that she heard the familiar voice of her older sister’s ex-boyfriend, Gavin MacFarlane, on the morning of October 2, 2017. More developments were made in the case as the detectives found Aaron’s missing vehicle on the street in East Medford. However, there were no signs of evidence or signs of the two missing people of the Friar family. With all the focus on Gavin, the authorities began searching for his whereabouts, and sooner rather than later, they spotted him and Ellie walking down the street alongside a 22-year-old individual named Russell Jones. All of them were taken into custody on the spot and brought in for further questioning.

Image Credit: Gavin Macfarlane/Facebook

The investigators found out that Aaron was not happy with Ellie’s relationship with Gavin, and forbade her to date him. When that didn’t stop them, he even confronted his daughter’s lover outside his house just a month before his tragic demise. During the interrogation of Ellie, she claimed that Aaron was an abusive father, which is why she had planned to run away with Gavin with the help of Russell. The 15-year-old girl then claimed that it was Russell who showed up at the house with a machete and attacked her father with it to death. Next, they interviewed Russell and questioned his account of the morning. He claimed that it was Gavin MacFarlane who killed Aaron with a baseball bat.

According to Russell, his only involvement was to help Gavin remove the body from the house and dump it. The 22-year-old man also took the police to the location, where they tossed the body and the murder weapon. When the detectives began interrogating Gavin MacFarlane, he confessed that he killed Ellie’s father with a baseball bat and claimed that he did it to protect her. He even said that Ellie told him that she was pregnant, which also played a role in his decision to commit the crime. When asked if he had come up with the idea of murdering Aaron, he claimed that it was Ellie’s idea. However, upon digging deeper, the police learned that Ellie’s claims of being pregnant were false, and there was no sign of her father being abusive towards her or his other two daughters.

Image Credit: KOBI5

As soon as the interrogation was wrapped up, Gavin, Ellie, and Russell were charged on multiple counts, including murder and conspiracy to commit murder. The investigators also searched Gavin’s house to look for other pieces of evidence, and they discovered letters and drawings made by Gavin, which indicated that the murder of Aaron was pre-planned. They also found evidence of the plan upon going through the text conversations of the accused three.

Gavin and Ellen Are Both Serving Their Sentence While Waiting For Their Parole

As the evidence mounted against them got out of hand, Ellen Friar could no longer play innocent and decided to plead guilty to the conspiracy charges against her and ended up receiving 25 years in prison. As for her ex-boyfriend, Gavin MacFarlane also pleaded guilty to his murder charge, for which he received a life imprisonment sentence, having to serve a minimum of 25 years in prison. In the case of Russell Jones, he pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit murder and attempted robbery in August 2021.

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his contribution to the crime. While Ellie would be eligible for parole in 2041 at the age of 39, Gavin is scheduled for parole in 2043 at the age of 45. Currently, Gavin is serving his sentence at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton, Oregon. Meanwhile, Ellie is also seemingly behind bars at an Oregon prison facility, awaiting her scheduled parole date.

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