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Girl found dead in Lincoln County woods identified nearly a year later; 2 women arrested

Child approximation sketch; Haley May Cobletz
Oregon State Police
Child approximation sketch; Haley May Cobletz

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — After widely disseminating two sketches for months, Oregon State Police have identified the remains of a child found last year and say two people have been arrested in the child's death.

Police say detectives responded to a report of remains found in a duffle bag near a rest area in Lincoln County on Dec. 10, 2020.

On Wednesday, OSP said the remains were identified as Haley Mae Coblentz after samples from the remains were sent for DNA testing.

Troopers say Coblentz was 9 at the time of her death.

Police say investigators in Detroit, Michigan, arrested her mother Shawna Browning on Tuesday, along with Lauren Harrison on suspicion of aggravated murder. It wasn't immediately known if they have lawyers to comment on the case.


OSP news release:

On December 10, 2020, Detectives from the Oregon State Police Major Crimes section responded to the H.B. Van Duzer Scenic Corridor in Lincoln County, Oregon, for the report of human remains discovered just outside the rest area.  An individual walking in the area discovered the remains of a female child, concealed inside a duffle bag, then hidden in the forest.  Based on the level of decomposition, it appeared she had been deceased between 30-60 days before her discovery.

Investigators and experts at the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office, collected samples from the child’s remains for DNA testing by a specialty DNA laboratory.  Parabon Nano Labs extracted DNA from the samples submitted, and on October 4, 2021, notified OSP investigators they identified the deceased child. 

The deceased was identified as Haley Mae Coblentz.  She was nine years old at the time of her death.  Haley was born in Colorado.  She was living with her biological mother and mother’s girlfriend in multiple places in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest since 2015.  She was not reported as a missing person at the time of her death.

On November 30, 2021, with the assistance of the Detroit FBI, OSP Investigators located Haley’s mother, 29-year-old Shawna Browning, and 34-year-old Lauren Harrison in Detroit, Michigan. Investigators arrested Browning and Harrison and served a search warrant on their vehicle and hotel room. 

Browning and Harrison were arrested on a Lincoln County, Oregon warrant and charged with:

  • Aggravated Murder ORS 163.095

Browning and Harrison were lodged in detention facilities in Wayne County, Michigan, and are being held without bail. 

The Associated Press

Comments

1 Comment

  1. I am glad they were able to identify her. Maybe her extended family that she never knew can give her a final resting place. This is one of the few crimes that carries the death penalty. However, I am sure we won’t even try to prosecute it that way. The legislature I’m sure is taking a look on how to modify it as we speak.

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