(UnitedVoice.com) – Between February and May, police in two Oregon counties found the bodies of six women. All of the victims were under the age of 40, and nearly all of them had connections to the Portland area. Most of the women were found in secluded or wooded areas. Despite the similarities, police didn’t believe the murders were connected in the early days of the investigation. Now, they are changing their tune about some of the victims.
Cases Are Linked
On July 17, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office announced the deaths of four women appear to be related. The press release stated that while prosecutors have not filed charges against anyone, they have a person of interest who they believe might have committed the murders. Authorities also said they didn’t think there was an ongoing threat to the community.
The victims that were tied together were Kristin Smith, 22, who police found in a wooded area on February 19. Deputies found the second victim, Charity Lynn Perry, 24, in a culvert near Ainsworth State Park in Multnomah County on April 24. Six days later, on April 30, the body of Bridget Webster, 31, was discovered in Polk County. And the fourth victim that police believe is connected is Ashley Real, 22, who was found on May 7 in a heavily-wooded area.
Democrat Released Suspect from Prison
After the announcement, reports revealed authorities believe the man responsible is currently in prison. According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, an unnamed official named Jesse Lee Calhoun, 38, as the person of interest. He was serving a prison sentence for a 2019 burglary and stolen vehicle conviction.
In June 2021, then-Governor Kate Brown (D) commuted Calhoun’s sentence along with 40 other prisoners who had helped fight the state’s wildfires the previous year. She determined they didn’t present safety risks to the community based on their past history. The decision took about a year off of his sentence.
Todd Jackson, the Multnomah County senior deputy district attorney, asked the current governor, Tina Kotek (D), to lift Calhoun’s commutation in a June 30 letter. He told the governor that he believed the suspect was “involved in criminal activity currently under investigation by Oregon law enforcement.” Kotek agreed with the DA, and on July 7, he was remanded back to prison for the remaining 11 months of his prison sentence.
The police investigation into the murders is ongoing. It’s not clear when charges might be filed in relation to the murders. Law enforcement is refusing to give any other details in the case.
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