After denying any connection among a recent string of murder cases, investigators in Oregon now say the deaths of four of six women found dead in and around Portland had strikingly suspicious similarities.
According to authorities, 38-year-old Jesse Lee Calhoun, who was released early from a previous prison sentence in 2021 by former Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, is being investigated as a person of interest in connection with at least four of the suspicious deaths.
In a joint news release with law enforcement agencies involved in the case, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office said, “No charges have been filed against anyone in connection with any of these four death investigations. Investigators have interviewed multiple people in connection with these cases and have identified at least one person of interest that is linked to all four of the decedents.”
Calhoun is that person of interest authorities are looking at, according to the Willamette Week.
Calhoun was among more than 1,000 inmates that were released early from prison after Brown slashed 12 months off his sentence. He was released in July 2021 after he was part of a group of inmates that helped fight wildfires in 2020, the Willamette Week reported.
He was originally in jail after being convicted on a series of felonies that included unauthorized possession of a stolen vehicle, burglary and injuring a police officer and a police dog, according to the Willamette Week.
The recent disclosure follows the discovery of six women's bodies between February and May. All the remains were located within a 100-mile radius of each other. These grim findings were along roadsides, in wooded areas, and in remote rural locations.
Initially, the Portland Police Bureau said they had “no reason to believe these six cases are connected,” as officials addressed online rumors that were swirling at the time.
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The four victims reportedly linked to Calhoun are Kristin Smith, 22, Charity Perry, 24, Bridget Webster, 31, and Ashley Real, 22.
The cause and manner of their deaths remain undetermined by the Oregon State Medical Examiner.
Calhoun tried to evade arrest by jumping into the Willamette River in Milwaukie, but he was eventually captured and booked on a parole violation, according to the Willamette Week.
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office stated “there is not believed to be any active danger to the community at this time.”
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