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Man charged with murder in deaths of 3 Oregon women found in different locations days apart, district attorney says

By Raja Razek, CNN

(CNN) — A 39-year-old man was indicted by a grand jury Thursday on murder charges for the deaths of three Oregon women whose bodies were found in 2023, according to the Multnomah County District Attorney.

Jesse Lee Calhoun was charged with three counts of murder in the second degree and three counts of abuse of a corpse in the second degree in the deaths of Charity Lynn Perry, 24, Bridget Leanne Webster, 31, and Joanna Speaks, 32, according to a news release from the district attorney.

All three women were found dead “under suspicious circumstances” on different days in April 2023, two of them in Portland and a third in neighboring Washington, according to the district attorney’s office. Authorities have not provided information on how they died and it’s unclear how investigators linked Calhoun to the three deaths.

“I want to acknowledge the families of these women,” Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt said in a news conference Friday. “This community holds you in our hearts and is here to support you.”

Calhoun, who was arrested on an unrelated charge, is expected to be transferred to the custody of Multnomah County for arraignment, the release reads. An arraignment date has not been set yet. CNN is working to identify and contact an attorney for Calhoun.

Last year, authorities in Oregon said they believed the deaths of Perry and Webster were connected to the deaths of two other Oregon women, Kristin Smith and Ashley Real. Senior Deputy District Attorney Melissa Marrero said Friday that authorities are “still very much investigating” their deaths.

“Just because not all of these girls have their charges have been brought up yet—for the other families—does not mean that we are not still standing beside them,” a member of Perry’s family said during the news conference. “We’re still together, the whole way, all the way.”

Smith’s mother spoke about the cases of her daughter and Real, saying, “We just keep going. We keep waiting, we keep praying and stay hopeful … that we soon can get justice for them as well.”

What we know about the deaths of the 3 women

On April 27, 2023, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office posted about Perry’s “suspicious death,” saying her body was found near a highway just northeast of Portland three days earlier.

“The last known area that Perry was known to frequent was downtown Portland … at the beginning of March,” the sheriff’s office said.

Days later, the body of Webster was found on April 30 near Mill Creek, which is about 50 miles southwest of Portland, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. The office called Webster’s death “suspicious,” and asked anyone who knew her or had information about her death to contact authorities.

“The last known area that Webster was known to frequent was the Portland metro area, particularly Portland, Oregon City, and Milwaukie,” the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post.

Speaks was found earlier that month, when officers responded to a call in Ridgefield, Washington, on April 8, according to Portland police.

“Based on information developed in that investigation, there is reason to believe that the homicide happened in Portland,” the Portland Police Bureau said in November 2023.

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CNN’s Christina Maxouris and Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report.

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