SALEM, Ore. -- The body of a Willamette University coed missing for nearly a week has been found in a wooded area on the outskirts of Salem, authorities said Thursday. They said her death could be linked to a number of unsolved slayings in the Northwest.
The body of Katherine Iona Redmond, 18, of Mill Valley, Calif., was found Wednesday by an Oregon State Police trooper a half-mile from where her borrowed car was found early April 7 with the motor running, door open and her purse inside.
'We are virtually certain the body is hers,' said Marion County District Attorney Michael Brown.
An autopsy was to be performed to determine time and cause of death, Brown said.
Law enforcement agencies in Seattle said they were checking into possible links between the so-called Green River slayings in King County, Wash., of 20 women and those of Miss Redmond and seven other Salem area women who have been slain or disappeared in the last three years.
Miss Redmond was last seen leaving a campus fraternity party at 2 a.m. Saturday.
Police had been searching the area for five days, gradually widening the circle around Miss Redmond's abandoned car, Brown said.
The site where the body was found is within four miles of where the body of Rebecca Ann Darling, 21, a convenience store clerk abducted Feb. 19, was found March 29. Ms. Darling died of asphxyiation.
In addition to Ms. Darling, the body of Terry Monroe, 21, of Salem, was found in a river, as were the first several victims in the Green River case.
The death of Miss Redmond brings to eight the number of women missing or murdered in the Salem area in the last three years, prompting authorities in Seattle to look into the Salem cases.
'We look into every missing person (report) that we can,' said Robert Keppel, an investigator with the Green River task force. 'If they have a missing person who disappeared under suspicious circumstances, then we want to know about it.'
Keppel's statements were made before Oregon authorities announced that Miss Redmond's body had been found.
Still missing in Salem is Sherry Eyerly, 18, who disappeared July 4, 1982 while delivering pizza to a non-existent address.
Murders still under investigation in Salem include:
-Danielle Rene Good, 9, whose remains were found in 1983 near a farmer's fence in Scio after disappearing from the bedroom of her home.
-Laurel Ann Wilson, 32, and her daughter, Erika Payne, 9, who were found dead in their south Salem home in March 1982.
-Patricia Lynn Loganbill, 21, who was shot to death in November 1982 at a Salem veterinary clinic.