Suspect named in deaths of four women in Portland area

3 of several women found dead in Oregon

The deaths of four young women in the Portland area have been linked to a single “person of interest.”

The Portland Police Bureau had previously said there were no known connections between the recent deaths of six women under the age of 33 in the region. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office announced that connections have now been found in the four of the cases on Monday, July 17.

Although the announcement did not name the person, Willamette Week first identified him as Jesse Lee Calhoun, 38, whose most recent address is in Portland. He is among the more than 1,000 inmates whom former Oregon Gov. Kate Brown granted clemency, allowing them to leave prison early.

According to Willamette Week, Calhoun has a long history of felony convictions, including burglary, unauthorized possession of a stolen vehicle, and injuring a police officer and a police dog when they attempted to arrest him. Those convictions earned him four concurrent sentences, the longest of which was 50 months, including time already served. But Calhoun was released 12 months early, on July 22, 2021, after he joined a group of inmates fighting wildfires.

Of those Brown released early, officials believe Calhoun is the only one whose clemency has since been revoked, the paper said. Records show that Calhoun is currently in custody at Snake River Correctional Institution in Ontario, where he was lodged on July 6 on undisclosed charges.

“Investigators and prosecutors from multiple law enforcement agencies have been working collaboratively on numerous death investigations in Northwest Oregon, and they have determined that there are links between four cases: Kristin Smith, Charity Perry, Bridget Webster, and Ashley Real,” the announcement said.

The possibility of a serial killer had been raised by several media outlets, promoted Portland police to say no connections had yet been found at the time.

The four victims are:

  • Kristin Smith, 22, whose body was found on Feb. 19, 2023, and whose death is bring investigated by the Portland Police Bureau. A missing persons report was filed with the Gresham Police Department on Dec. 22, 2022.
  • Charity Lynn Perry, 24, whose body was found on April 24, 2023, and whose death is being investigated by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Bridget Leann (Ramsay) Webster, 31, of Milwaukie, whose body was found on April 30, 2023, and whose death is being investigated by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Ashley Real, 22, whose body was found in Eagle Creek on May 7, 2023, and whose death is being investigated by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. A missing persons report filed with the Portland Police Bureau on April 4, 2023.

“These Investigators and prosecutors, from nine different law enforcement agencies, have been in regular communication and have been working collaboratively on these investigations for several months. These agencies include the Gresham Police Department, Portland Police Bureau, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Polk County District Attorney’s Office, and the Oregon State Police,” the announcement said.

The two women whose deaths have not been connected are:

  • Joanna Speaks, 32, of Oregon, whose body was found in Clark County on April 8.
  • An unidentified woman, whose body was found near Interstate 205 and Southeast Flavel Street in Southeast Portland’s Lents neighborhood, also on April 24.

According to the announcement, no charges have been filed against anyone in connection with any of these four death investigations. Investigators have interviewed multiple people in connection with these cases and have identified at least one person of interest that is linked to all four of the decedents.

“Based on the available information to investigators, there is not believed to be any active danger to the community at this time,” the announcement continued.

No additional information, including the nature of the information that links these four cases together, is being released at this time because these are ongoing death investigations. The cause and manner of death in each case remains undetermined by the Oregon State Medical Examiner.

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