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. 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 PPB case of Kristin Smith remains under investigation, and no additional information is available. The cause and manner of her death is so far undetermined per the Medical Examiner. The latest information on the case is available here: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/news/read.cfm?id=492906 . Detectives are asking for anyone with information about Kristin’s death to contact them.
The death investigation of Ashley Real is also continuing by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. Previously released information is available here: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/news/read.cfm?id=482838 , and here: https://www.clackamas.us/sheriff/2023-05-31-eagle-creek-death-investigation.html . PPB Missing Persons Unit Detectives are coordinating with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office on the death investigation. CCSO is describing hers as a suspicious death, but they have not concluded that she was the victim of a homicide. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the detectives via the tip line listed in the press release.
Another of the cases that is being listed in this group involves a death investigation on April 24, 2023, at 3:09p.m. in the 9500 block of Southeast Flavel Street. East Precinct officers responded to a report of someone found deceased inside a tent. Officers assisted the Medical Examiner (ME) on the case, but the ME is primary investigator as they have the expertise to determine cause and manner of death. There is no indication that foul play was suspected by the ME responder on scene, or the officers who were there to assist, and the PPB Homicide Unit has not become involved in the investigation. The latest available information on that case is available here: https://www.multco.us/multnomah-county/news/medical-examiner-seeks-help-identifying-woman-who-died-april-24-lents . (PP23-106176)
To be clear, PPB currently is not involved with the Ainsworth State Park (Multnomah County), Polk County, and the Clark County death investigations. We have spoken to those agencies regarding these investigations but as of now we are not actively participating in them. It is common investigative practice, whether it is retail theft, robbery, sexual assault, or murder cases, to consider possible connections to other cases both in and out of our jurisdiction. 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.
We ask that our community be aware of the facts about these cases before sharing speculation. PPB is assuring our community that if we learn of an articulable danger, we will notify the public about it. PPB will continue to coordinate with other law enforcement agencies to ensure we are doing all we can to pursue justice for any and all crime victims.
Because these cases involve open and active investigations, this will be the extent of our statement on the matter. We are respectfully declining news interviews on this topic.
Source: Portland Police