Portland, OR

Police denounce speculations of a serial killer after the deaths of 6 women


In response to the recent deaths of six women under the age of 40, the Portland Police Bureau in Oregon on Sunday took a firm stance against "online rumors," dispelling theories of a potential serial killer.

According to CBS News, the Police Bureau denounced the rumors and claimed that news stories and social media posts had spread "anxiety and fear in our community" without being "supported by the facts available at this point."

In a press release, the Police Bureau said, “While any premature death is concerning... PPB has no reason to believe these six cases are connected.”

According to the PPB, officers first discovered human remains in Multnomah County, Oregon, in February, and later discovered that the remains belonged to 22-year-old Kristin Smith, who had been reported missing on December 22.

According to a PPB press release, there is no information regarding Smith's cause of death, and the case is still under investigation.

Also, 32-year-old Joanna Speaks was found dead on an abandoned property over a month later by police in Clark County. According to KATU, the death of Speaks was determined to be a homicide due to "blunt head and neck injuries" by the Clark County Coroner.

Police discovered two more bodies in Multnomah County on April 24. According to officials, Charity Lynn Perry, 24, was found dead in a culvert by Multnomah County Sheriff's Office deputies. The incident is being looked into by law enforcement as a suspicious death.

According to the Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Office, officials discovered a woman's body the same day in a tent in Portland's Lents neighborhood. Officials are still working to identify the women, who they believe to be Native American or Native Alaskan and are between the ages of 25 and 40.

The PPB said in a release, “There is no indication that foul play was suspected by the [Medical Examiner] on scene, or the officers who were there to assist.”

One week later, the body of Bridget Leann (Ramsey) Webster was discovered by deputies from the Polk County Sheriff's Office. According to KATU, law enforcement is seeking information from the public about the suspicious death.

According to PPB, police discovered the body of 22-year-old Ashley Real on May 7 in a forested area of Clackamas County. According to authorities, the death of Ashley is being investigated as suspicious but is not conclusively a homicide. She was last seen in late March.

According to ABC News, though the PPB has spoken with nearby agencies about a few of the suspicious deaths, the organization has disputed the notion that the cases are related because of the interagency communication.

The PPB said, “Like with all investigations of this nature, we are routinely in contact with our law enforcement partners. That has happened here, but that should not suggest a connection has been made.”

The PPB asserted that the cases do not currently pose an "articulable danger" and pledged to update the public if anything changes.

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