Deaths of four US women in Portland linked, person of interest identified

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The deaths of four US women whose bodies were found over the course of three months in or near Portland, Oregon, are linked, and at least one person of interest has been identified, authorities said Monday.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s office in Portland, Oregon, says no charges have been filed against anyone but that the community is not currently in any danger. Local media reported that a man is in custody.

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The women’s bodies were found in Portland and rural areas starting in February, with the latest one found in May. One body was found about 45 miles (72 kilometers) southwest of Portland, near a creek in Polk County.

Authorities said the state medical examiner has not determined the cause or manner of death for any of the women.

Authorities did not use the word “serial killer” in announcing the connection between the deaths.

“Investigators and prosecutors from multiple law enforcement agencies have been working collaboratively ... and they have determined that there are links between four cases: Kristin Smith, Charity Perry, Bridget Webster, and Ashley Real,” the prosecutor’s office said.

Investigators from nine law enforcement agencies and prosecutor’s offices in three Oregon counties, as well as the Oregon State Police, have been collaborating on the cases, authorities said.

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