Outside of Portland, Oregon, two women’s bodies were found in wooded regions. Another woman’s body was discovered in a culvert. A second was seen beside a creek.
Weeks have passed while law enforcement agencies in northwest Oregon looked into the de@ths and their connections. The Portland police made an effort to allay concerns that the fatalities were related last month.
The bodies of Kristin Smith, 22, Ashley Real, 22, and Bridget Webster, 31, were discovered in February, May, and April, respectively. Charity Perry, 24, and Bridget Webster, 31, were discovered six days apart in April. On Monday, nine Oregon law enforcement agencies announced in a joint statement that the four de@ths were connected and that they had identified at least one person of interest linked to the de@ths of the women.
The person of interest had not been identified publicly as of Monday afternoon, and no charges had been brought in the matter. The agencies issued a statement on Monday saying, “Based on the information available to investigators, it is not believed that there is an active danger to the community at this time.”
The tweet below confirms the news:
The deaths of four different women in Oregon have been linked and at least one person of interest has been identified, state law enforcement agencies said in a joint statement on Monday. https://t.co/WEvG3Qf9gD
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 17, 2023
The four women’s causes of de@th are unknown, and the Oregon State Medical Examiner has not been able to establish how they died, according to the agencies. The fatalities have caused panic and worry among residents of northwest Oregon, who are now wondering if a serial killer is among them.
The horrifying discoveries started on February 19 when the Portland Police Bureau was informed that human remains had been discovered in a wooded area southeast of the city center. Later, the authorities were able to identify the remains as belonging to Ms. Smith, who had gone missing on December 22.
Ms. Perry’s body was discovered in a culvert on April 24 close to Ainsworth State Park, some 30 miles east of Portland. Later, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office declared that it was looking into the “suspicious de@th” of Ms. Perry, who had been a regular in early March in downtown Portland.
Suspicious De@ths of Women Raise Fears of Serial Killer
Ms. Webster’s body was discovered close to a creek in Polk County, about 70 miles southwest of Portland, six days later, on April 30. Additionally labeled “suspicious,” Ms. Webster’s de@th was described by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, which also noted that she was known to frequent the Portland region.
After a man fishing in a nearby pond called the authorities to report finding human remains, Ms. Real’s body was located in a forested area approximately 20 miles southeast of Portland a week later, on May 7, according to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.
Ms. Real was last seen at a fast-food restaurant on March 27. On April 4, the Portland Police Bureau received a missing person report for her. In a statement on April 19, the Portland police stated that Ms. Real had “not been found or heard from, and leads have been exhausted.”
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On Monday, Ms. Perry’s mother chose not to speak. On Monday, requests for comment from the families of the other three ladies were not immediately fulfilled.
Residents in northwest Oregon have also grown more concerned as a result of the de@ths of two other women, whose de@ths have not been linked to those of the other four. In Ridgefield, Washington, about 20 miles north of Portland, on April 8, the Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue and the Ridgefield Police Department responded to a report of a de@d person at an abandoned property.
Joanna Speaks, a 32-year-old Oregon resident, was later recognized by the authorities, who also stated that there were “indications the body was moved to this location.” The Clark County Sheriff’s Office said in April that the de@th of Ms. Speaks was being investigated as a homicide.
In an area southeast of Portland’s city center, another woman’s body was discovered. The Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Office stated the woman, who had not been recognized, passed away on April 24 and that it was looking for assistance in identifying her.
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