Four women in the broader Portland area are dead and their investigations have all been linked to the same person of interest, multiple law enforcement agencies announced on Monday.
Between February and May, the bodies of young women have been found along the sides of roads and in wooded areas within a 100-mile radius of Portland. In June, five law enforcement agencies said that six of those deaths were being investigated for any possible links.
In a joint press release issued by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, nine law enforcement agencies said links had been established between the cases of Kristin Smith, 22, Charity Lynn Perry, 24, Bridget Leann (Ramsay) Webster, 31, and Ashley Real, 22.
The person of interest in the case, however, is markedly not a criminal suspect or defendant – at least not yet.
“No charges have been filed against anyone in connection with any of these four death investigations,” the DA’s office said. “Investigators have interviewed multiple people in connection with these cases and have identified at least one person of interest that is linked to all four of the decedents.”
In an email response regarding a potential serial killer, however, the DA’s office ignored the question and directed Law&Crime to their press release. This hesitancy is in line with prior law enforcement statements about the series of dead women who have turned up over the course of four months in Cascadia’s third-largest metro area.
“When people on social media and in traditional media start speculating about a ‘serial killer,’ that causes a lot of anxiety and fear in our community, and I ask that you only report the facts about these cases,” Portland police Sgt. Kevin Allen said in early June. “Certainly if we learn of an articulable danger, we will notify the public about it. That is not the case here.”
Law enforcement maintains that there is still no threat to the public.
“Based on the available information to investigators, there is not believed to be any active danger to the community at this time,” the Monday press release says.
That may have something to do with the current status of the person of interest in the case.
Law&Crime is not naming the reported person of interest because police have not identified them.
The nine law enforcement agencies involved say that each of the four investigations is “ongoing” and declined to release any additional information regarding “the nature of the information that links these four cases together.”
“The cause and manner of death in each case remains undetermined by the Oregon State Medical Examiner,” the press release adds.
Smith is the first of the four women who were found. Her body was discovered in a wooded area near Southeast Deardorff Road and Southeast Flavel Street in Portland’s Pleasant Valley neighborhood on Feb. 19; she was originally reported missing on Dec. 22, 2022.
Perry was the second to be found – in a culvert near E. Historic Columbia River Highway and NE Tumalt Road on April 24.
Webster was found less than a week later on April 30 along Harmony Road in northwest Polk County.
Real was the fourth. Her body was found on May 7 in a wooded area off SE Judd Road near Eagle Creek in Clackamas County. She was last seen on March 27 and reported missing on April 4.
The investigations that have been linked, so far, are being investigated by the combined efforts of the Gresham Police Department, Portland Police Bureau, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Polk County District Attorney’s Office, and the Oregon State Police.
Investigators say they still need the public’s help.
For tips regarding Kirstin Smith’s case, people should contact Detective Jeffery Pontius with the Portland Police Bureau at [email protected]
For tips regarding Charity Perry’s cases, people should reach out to Detective Kevin Odil with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office at [email protected] or call 503-988-0560.
For tips regarding Bridget Webster’s case, people should reach out to Detective David Shorter with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at [email protected]
For tips regarding Ashley Real’s case, people should reach out to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office at 503-723-4949.
Alberto Luperon contributed to this report.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]
Deaths of 4 Portland-area women linked to one person
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