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Portland murders – live: Person of interest linked to four deaths weeks after police denied ‘serial killer’


Murdered Oregon woman’s sister says cops avoiding serial killer theory

A string of murders in the Portland, Oregon metro area that police previously said were unrelated have now been linked as authorities have identified a person of interest.

Deputies in nine different police departments released a joint statement on Monday saying the deaths of four women who were found either near or on the sides of roads between February and May are connected.

The women have been identified as Kristin Smith, 22, Charity Lynn Perry, 24, Bridget Leann (Ramsay) Webster, 31, and Ashely Real, 22.

Authorities did not use the term “serial killer” to describe how the murders were connected but said through speaking with people connected to the deaths they were able to link one person of interest to all four deaths.

A serial killer is defined as a person who kills a series of three or more people with a common characteristic, according to the FBI.

At this time, police have not identified the person of interest or filed any charges.

Local media sites have identified the alleged person at the center of the investigation, but this information is unconfirmed.

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What is a serial killer?

The person of interest thought to be linked to four murders in the Portland metro area has not been described as a serial killer by authorities but the pattern of killings could possibly be defined as one.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the term “serial killings” means a series of three or more killings, more than one was committed in the United States, that have a common characteristic to suggest the reasonable possibility the crimes were committed by the same person.

All the victims, in this case, were women between the ages of 22 and 31.

Ariana Baio18 July 2023 13:52

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Catch up on the latest: Deaths of four women in Portland linked to person of interest, authorities say

On Monday, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office announced it had connected four of the victims to a sole person of interest, according to KPTV.

The person’s identity has not been released by authorities, and they are not currently facing criminal charges in connection with the murders, the sheriff’s office said.

Josh Marcus18 July 2023 13:00

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Police say there is no danger to public

In a statement from nine Oregon law enforcement agencies, officials said despite four deaths being connected there was no danger to the public at this time.

“Based on the available information to investigators, there is not believed to be any active danger to the community at this time,” the statement issued on Monday said.

The statement continued: “No charges have been filed against anyone in connection with any of these four death investigations.”

The joint statement said they could not provide any more information about the nature of the deaths or how they are connected.

Josh Marcus18 July 2023 12:00

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Who is Charity Lynn Perry?

Charity Lynn Perry, 24, of Longview, Washington, was found on 24 April near Ainsworth State Park, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.

Ms Perry was last known frequenting an area in downtown Portland around Southwest Washington Street and Fourth Avenue.

Her death was considered “suspicious”.

In an interview with KPIC, Diana Allen, Ms Perry’s mother, said she “always had a smile that could light up the world.”

Ms Perry’s family told the news outlet that she had “extreme mental health issues” with schizophrenia being the most impactful in her life.

Charity Lynn Perry, 24, was found dead on 24 April in Portland

(Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office)

Josh Marcus18 July 2023 10:00

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Who is Kristin Smith?

Kristin Smith, 22, was reported missing on 22 December 2022, and her body was found on 19 February in a wooded area in the Pleasant Valley Neighborhood, police said at the time.

On a fundraising page, her mother Melissa Smith said she had put out thousands of flyers and undertaken extensive searches over several months.

After her daughter’s body was discovered, Ms Smith pleaded for anyone with information to come forward.

“I’ve been devoted to searching and finding my daughter every single day through it all. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to keep fighting to solve my daughter’s murder and put this piece of garbage away in jail for life,” she wrote.

Ms Smith said that she was certain her daughter had been murdered, although police hadn’t confirmed that to her.

Kristin Smith is one of four Portland women whose deaths have been linked to a sole person of interest

(Portland Police Bureau)

Josh Marcus18 July 2023 07:59

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Police probe possible connection between deaths of six women in Oregon

The deaths of six different women in the Portland, Oregon area have sparked concerns online that they may be connected, though police say that is not the case so far.

Between February and May, six women have been found within 100 miles of one another, on the sides of the roads or in wooded areas – raising suspicions as to the similar nature of their deaths.

Josh Marcus18 July 2023 06:00

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Read police’s full statement on the update in the Portland deaths investigation

Portland-area police say they have reason to believe a single person of interest links four different suspicious deaths of women in the greater metro area in recent months.

Read officials’ full update to the public here.

Josh Marcus18 July 2023 04:00

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ICYMI: Deaths of four women in Portland linked to person of interest, authorities say

On Monday, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office announced it had connected four of the victims to a sole person of interest, according to KPTV.

The person’s identity has not been released by authorities, and they are not currently facing criminal charges in connection with the murders, the sheriff’s office said.

Bevan Hurley has the details.

Josh Marcus18 July 2023 02:00

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Kristin Smith’s family feared she had been sex trafficked

On 19 February, Kristin Smith’s remains were found in a wooded area in Portland’s Pleasant Valley neighbourhood.

Prior to her discovery, her family told local media they worried she had been sex trafficked.

“A main concern of ours now is sex trafficking. We don’t know but with things we’ve been told or people who know her are saying it’s a possibility because this is not like her to just disappear,” Melissa Smith, Kristin’s mother, told KPTV.

“When I tried to reach out to her again, she didn’t answer, and I thought that was strange but thought, ‘well, maybe she was busy.’ Next day, same thing, and then the phone went straight to voicemail and that’s when I’m like, ‘this is very odd. Something’s not right,’” she added

Smith went missing in November.

Josh Marcus18 July 2023 00:50

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Police once sought to downplay ‘rumors’ that Oregon deaths were connected

Before Monday’s surprising announcement, police previously sought to downplay online ‘rumours’ that the suspicious deaths of multiple women in the Portland area in recent months were connected.

“The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) has been hearing widespread questions and concerns about the death investigations of 6 women throughout the region, especially after widely distributed social media posts and news media articles appeared to suggest a connection between them,” officials wrote in a press release last month.

“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.”

“While any premature death is concerning, and we will diligently investigate deaths that happen in our jurisdiction in collaboration with the Multnomah County and Oregon State Medical Examiner’s offices, PPB has no reason to believe these 6 cases are connected,” the agency continued.

Police said the Monday update in the case was based on new interviews.

“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,” the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office told The Independent.

Josh Marcus18 July 2023 00:20


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