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Woman’s body found in car on Ochoco Natl. Forest


Crook County authorities and other agencies investigating the death of a woman whose body was found in a vehicle late Tuesday afternoon on the Ochoco National Forest about 30 miles east of Prineville said Thursday an autopsy determined it was suicide.

An autopsy was performed Wednesday afternoon at the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Clackamas, said Sheriff John Gautney. It found the woman had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The woman’s name and other details will not be released, he said, in keeping with the agency’s policies “in honor of privacy for the victim’s family and friends.”

The sheriff said his office takes all death investigations very seriously “and will exhaust all investigative leads to the furthest extent in order to do justice for the victims and their families.”

“Our condolences go (to) the family and friends of the victim in this case,” he added.

t about 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, deputies and Oregon State Police were dispatched to a report of a person slumped over in a vehicle along Forest Service Road 22 in the Ochoco National Forest a short distance from the intersection with Forest Service Road 42 (about six miles from Walton Lake).

“When law enforcement arrived on scene they discovered a deceased person in a vehicle. Investigators from the Crook County Sheriff’s Office worked through the night processing the scene with the assistance of the Oregon State Police Crime Lab and the Crook County District Attorney’s Office,” Gautney said Wednesday.

The Crook County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in this investigation by OSP, Wheeler County Sheriff’s Office, USFS Law Enforcement, Crook County DA’s Office, Crook County Fire and Rescue, State Medical Examiner staff, as well as local M.E. staff.

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