PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Police are conducting a death investigation near Pittock Mansion after 2 bodies were found Wednesday morning. Police said the investigation is in connection with a pickup truck that was found on Monday — which is tied to a sex abuse suspect and missing teen.
The 2 bodies were located by a search dog near the intersection of the Wildwood Trail and the Upper MacLeay Trail. They were found about 80 feet off the trail and not visible to the naked eye, according to police.
Members of Multnomah County Search and Rescue and Mountain Wave Search and Rescue began searching Forest Park Tuesday afternoon and contacted police after finding the deceased people.
“They were partially camouflaged or covered by the surroundings we have up here and were it not for the dog, his name is Nexus, they would not have been located as quickly as they were,” Detective Robert Rookhuÿzen with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said.
Nexus and his handler Scott Lee with Mountain Wave Search and Rescue spent 45 minutes on the trails before finding the bodies. Nexus is specifically trained to find human remains.
“There’s a lot of human scent out there so that’s the challenge,” Lee said. “It was a really sad, sad outcome. IT pulls on the heartstrings and mentality and everything.”
Homicide and missing persons detectives responded to the scene but according to police, no foul play is suspected and there’s no danger to the public.
Police said the identities of the bodies or cause of deaths won’t be released until an autopsy is performed — which may not happen until later this week.
However, the incident is linked to the disappearance of 15-year-old Annieka and 23-year-old Zachary Petersen. Annieka ran away from home Oct. 30 and is believed to be with Petersen — who went missing the same day. Petersen’s truck was found in Forest Park on Monday along with Annieka’s backpack.
“The trails would connect from the truck to the location where the 2 were found,” Sgt. Chris Burley with Portland police said.
Police said they’ve informed the families of the incident in case the bodies turn out to be their loved ones.