Bodies of mother, three children found in Oregon’s Tillamook State Forest;
December 23, 2002
TILLAMOOK, Ore. — The bodies of a mother and her three children were found in a remote area of the Tillamook State Forest and police were looking for the father, authorities said Sunday.
The case was being investigated as a homicide, though the causes of death had not been determined. Authorities had not ruled out a murder-suicide, Tillamook County Sheriff Todd Anderson said.
Rene’E Morris, 31, and her children, Bryant, 10, Alexis, 8, and 4-year-old Jonathan had been reported missing Saturday from their Portland home, Anderson said.
He said police are looking for Morris’s 37-year-old husband, who was last seen with the family leaving Portland in a minivan.
Anderson characterized the husband as a “person of interest,” but did not rule out the possibility that he was also a victim.
“We’re expanding the grid search to see if there are more victims. I hope to heck this is it, but we just don’t know,” Anderson said.
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Two hunters in the northwestern Oregon forest found one of the bodies Saturday morning on a remote road about 30 miles east of Tillamook.
State Police investigators later found the other three bodies in the same general area. Authorities searched the area until dark Saturday and resumed at dawn Sunday.
“There is a lot of evidence at the scene, but I can’t go into that right now,” Anderson said.
He said the sheriff’s department is setting up a tip line to develop leads and that the department had already received some calls.
The area where the bodies were found is covered with second-growth timber and underbrush, and is popular with dirt bikers, all-terrain-vehicle riders and hunters.
Tillamook is on the Oregon coast, about 60 miles west of Portland.