Murder mystery shocks small Oregon town

Dec. 24, 2001 at 4:18 PM
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WALDPORT, Ore., Dec. 24 (UPI) -- A memorial service was scheduled for Wednesday in a small coastal Oregon town that has become the center of a horrific Christmas season murder mystery.

The bodies of two unidentified young children, believed to be brother and sister, were pulled from the waters of Lint Slough near Waldport, a small beach community east of Corvallis. It is not known who the children are however, investigators believe they are brother and sister and that their deaths were not accidental.

Police had been looking for the parents of the boy, between 4 and 6 years old, who was found on the beach last Wednesday. The case took an even grimmer turn Saturday when divers searching for evidence under a highway bridge discovered the little girl's body in 11 feet of water.

"It's kind of shocking, because you don't think anything like that would happen," Natalie Thissell, an area resident, told the Portland Oregonian newspaper. "I couldn't believe they found another one. They're so dang little; they can't swim."

A task force that includes FBI agents and Oregon State Police was formed last week after it was determined that none of the local children were missing. Among the leads being tracked down were reports of a suspicious white car with California license plates seen in the area last Wednesday morning.

The Oregonian said the bridge over Lint Slough has become the site of an impromptu memorial set up by Waldport residents, many of whom believe the children were thrown into the water by desperate parents.

"It's just pretty tragic somebody would feel so desperate to kill kids, regardless of the reason," Waldport resident Marjie Millard said.

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