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Deaths of 4 women found in 3 months are linked, Oregon officials say

Investigators say they have identified "at least" one person of interest in the deaths of the women found near Portland from February to May.
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The deaths of four women whose bodies were found from February to May in and around Portland, Oregon, are linked, authorities said Monday.

Investigators have identified "at least" one person of interest linked to the deaths of Kristin Smith, 22; Charity Perry, 24; Bridget Webster, 31; and Ashely Real, 22, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

The person was not identified and no charges have been filed, and authorities declined to provide additional information about what connects the cases, citing ongoing death investigations.

From left, Kristin Smith, Bridget Web
From left, Kristin Smith, Bridget Webster, Charity Perry, Ashley Real.Portland Police Bureau; Polk/Multnomah/Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office

The prosecutor’s office added that the cause and manner of death in each case remain under investigation by the state medical examiner’s office.

"Based on the available information to investigators, there is not believed to be any active danger to the community at this time," the DA's statement said.

Smith was found Feb. 19 in southeast Portland. Perry was discovered in a culvert on Multnomah County's East Historic Columbia River Highway on April 24.

Webster was found six days later on a rural road in nearby Polk County, while Real was found in a wooded area in another nearby county, Clackamas, on May 7.

In an interview last month, Webster's stepgrandfather said he'd changed her diapers, taught her to play basketball and raised her until she left home as a freshman in high school.

"She was a good girl until I lost contact with her years ago," he said.

The release did not mention the cases of two other women found dead in the region during the same time frame. NBC affiliate KGW of Portland first reported the six deaths.

The Portland Police Bureau said last month that authorities had found no evidence linking the deaths.

The agency said that "widely distributed social media posts and news media articles" that suggested a connection between the deaths had caused fear and anxiety, "and we want to provide reassurance that the speculation is not supported by the facts available at this point."

In its release Monday, the prosecutor's office said nine law enforcement agencies throughout the region had worked "collaboratively on numerous death investigations in Northwest Oregon" to determine there were links among the four cases.