On Monday the bodies of a man and a woman were found at a shooting range in the Mount Hood National Forest near Estacada, Oregon.
Recreational shooters stumbled upon the bodies in a gravel pit that’s mostly used as a shooting range off 4615 Road and the 130 Spur, at around 9:45 a.m. They thereupon alerted the police.
Detectives of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the crime scene. They have identified the bodies as being Stacy Jean Rickerd, 42, and Jeremy David Merchant, 43, both of Estacada. The two had a long-term relationship, according to Fox 12.
Police suspected foul play and the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office rule it homicidal violence.
Reporters of Katu2 spoke to Tiena Britt, an acquaintance of the couple.
“I’m heartbroken,” Britt explained. “I’m pretty tore up. It’s too close to home. I will never come in the woods alone again. … I don’t exactly know what happened to them, but they didn’t deserve it. That I know.”
Britt continued: “I’ve known ’em for many years. All my kids know ’em,” she explained. “I’ve got two kids, and they know their kids. You know, they played with them at one point. … I had been up here recently in the dark at night with another friend of mine picking up bullet casings myself, and I will never do it again. Never. I’ll never come to these woods again alone, especially at night.”
Police also found a dog, later identified as the couple’s dog, Talladega. Talladega was taken to Clackamas County Dog Services then transferred into the custody of relatives of the couple.
No details about the cause of death have been released. No suspects have been arrested, and no information is provided so far.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the sheriff’s office tip line at 503-723-4949 or web3.clackamas.us/contact/tip.jsp. Please reference CCSO case number 19-018794.
Not far from the scene, another homicide took place in the Mt. Hood area two months ago.
Missing Oregon Woman, 3-Year-Old Son Found Dead in Remote Area: Reports
The bodies of a missing Oregon woman and her son were found in a remote area in Yamhill County.
Karissa Fretwell, 25, and her 3-year-old son William “Billy” Fretwell were reported missing in May, according to KPTV.
Family members said that they hadn’t heard from them since May 13.
— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) June 1, 2019
Detectives led searchers to a remote area in Yamhill County, which is about 10 miles west of Yamhill, located in central Oregon, about 50 miles west-southwest of Portland.
On June 16, the bodies were identified as Billy and Karissa Fretwell, the report said.
Karissa was found with a single gunshot wound, and officials said her death was a homicide.
Billy’s cause of death has not yet been determined, and more testing needs to be done.
In May, 52-year-old Michael John Wolfe was charged with two counts of aggravated murder and two counts of kidnapping in connection with the case. Wolfe is the boy’s biological father.
“Everybody involved in this case continues to hope for a safe return for Karissa and William,” Salem Police Department Lt. Treven Upkes said last month after the charges were announced, reported People magazine.
Family members had told investigators that Fretwell recently went to court over a dispute with Wolfe, reported The Oregonian. KATU2 said that a Yamhill County judge ruled that Wolfe should pay nearly $1,000 per month in child support to Fretwell.
Wolfe is still in custody. His last hearing in court was on August 5.
Epoch Times reporter Jack Phillips contributed to this report.