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The "Suspicious" Deaths of Four Women in Oregon Are Linked, Officials Say
Investigators say they have "at least" one person of interest in the deaths of four women found in the Portland area.
The deaths of four women whose bodies were found in the Portland, Oregon area earlier this year are linked, authorities now say.
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office said in a joint county release that investigators have “at least” one person of interest linked to the deaths of Kristin Smith, 22; Charity Perry, 24; Bridget Webster, 31; and Ashely Real, 22.
No charges have been filed in the case at this time and authorities haven't released any further information, including what has led them to believe the cases are related. Additionally, the Oregon State Medical Examiner hasn't been able to determine the cause and manner of death in each case.
While authorities remain tight-lipped on the case, they have stated that "there is not believed to be any active danger to the community at this time."
On February 19, the Portland Police Bureau received a report about human remains located in a wooded area in southeast Portland. The remains were identified as Smith, who was reported missing December 22, 2022.
Perry’s body was found on April 24 in a culvert on Multnomah County's East Historic Columbia River Highway, said the Multnomah County Sherriff’s department, who described Perry’s death as “suspicious.”
Polk County Sherriff’s Office announced six days later that Webster's body was found near a Polk County creek on April 30, also ruling her death as “suspicious.”
On May 7, a man called 911 to report a discovery of human remains while he was fishing at a nearby pond in a heavily wooded area of Clackamas County, local police said. The remains were identified as Real, whose death was also ruled to be “suspicious in nature.”
The Portland Police Bureau initially stated there was no evidence the four deaths were linked.
The agency said in a statement last month that “widely distributed social media posts and news media articles appeared to suggest a connection between” the mysterious deaths.
“These discussions have led to some anxiety and fear in our community, and we want to provide reassurance that the speculation is not supported by the facts available at this point,” they said.
While authorities are now viewing the four deaths as connected, they made no mention of two other women who were found dead in the region within the same time frame.
The body of Joanna Speaks was found on April 8 in a rural area of Clark County, after disappearing in late March, NBC Portland affiliate KGW reported. According to the Clark County Medical Examiner's Office, Speaks died of blunt head and neck injuries.
The medical examiner ruled her death as a “homicide” and was "injured by other person(s)," KGW reported, citing a news release.
The sixth woman’s body was found on April 24, the same day Perry was discovered. The Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Office described the unidentified woman to possibly be Native American or Native Alaskan and between the ages of 25 and 40.
“She had two large scars on her left lower leg and two tattoos: a black music note with the letter V on her left upper chest and the Buddha on her right upper back, on her shoulder blade,” the medical examiner’s office said.
Investigators continue to ask for the public's help in each investigation.