Four bodies found in Oregon forest

Monday, December 23, 2002

TILLAMOOK, Ore. -- The bodies of a woman and three children were found in a remote area of the Tillamook State Forest and the case was being investigated as a homicide, authorities said Sunday.

The bodies had not been identified and the genders of the children had not been determined, Tillamook County Sheriff Todd Anderson said. The sheriff's office said earlier the causes of death had not been determined.

"We're expanding the grid search to see if there are more victims. I hope to heck this is it, but we just don't know," Anderson said.

He said authorities had not ruled out a murder-suicide.

Two hunters in the northwestern Oregon forest found the first body Saturday morning on a remote road about 30 miles east of Tillamook.

State Police investigators later found the other three bodies in the same general area. Authorities searched the area until dark Saturday and resumed at dawn Sunday.

"There is a lot of evidence at the scene, but I can't go into that right now," Anderson said. "We are analyzing missing person's reports and we will be looking globally."

He said the sheriff's department is setting up a tip line to develop leads and that the department had already received some calls.

The area where the bodies were found is covered with second growth timber and underbrush, and is popular with dirt bikers, all-terrain-vehicle riders and hunters.

Tillamook is on the Oregon coast, about 60 miles west of Portland.

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