Nicole Marie Murphy and her two-year-old son Caiden. Photo: WCSO
PORTLAND - The Washington County Sheriff's Office notified the public this week it was working to find 32-year-old Nicole Marie Murphy and her two-year-old son.
Both have been found safe.
The sheriff’s office reported the last identification of Murphy and her son came Tuesday, July 23, between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.at an urgent care facility at NW 185th Avenue and NW Cornell Road in Hillsboro.
Deputy Brian van Kleef, Washington County Sheriffs' public information officer, said officers witnessed Murphy hand her son to a family member late Thursday night at a Taco Bell in southeast Portland. He said Portland police were there to conduct a welfare check at the request of Murphy’s family.
Van Kleef said the family shared with police Murphy is struggling with substance abuse, and they were happy to take care of her son.
Murphy is 32 years old and van Kleef said officers at the Taco Bell determined she was not an immediate threat to herself or others, and that she was not wanted for or witnessed committing a crime.
Even so, Murphy ran after handing her son to her family in the presence of Portland police officers, van Kleef said.
She subjectively displayed good judgment in allowing her son to be taken care of by his and her family, and the family stepped up and welcomed the two-year-old in their care as Murphy continues her battle, he said.
“She wasn’t wanted for anything criminal,” van Kleef said. "We were conducting a requested, welfare check. It was determined she was OK, and her child was in a safe environment. At this point, our case is closed.”
People struggling with addiction, particularly those in crisis, often are not aware of available solutions.
Washington County’s Hawthorn Walk-in Center provides urgent care for addiction and mental health crises. Read their informative web page if you believe you or someone you love is dangerously using drugs and-or alcohol, or experiencing any kind of mental health struggle.
Additionally, anyone who wants to enter treatment is encouraged to call the Washington County crisis line at 503-291-911 -- any time, 24-hours a day.
Washington County created an online test for anyone who thinks they or someone they love may be struggling with substance abuse. Take the test here.