Banks, Crime, Manning

Detectives seeking tips after body found north of Banks

Jessica Elizabeth Hart. Photo courtesy Washington County Sheriff’s Office

A body found north of Banks was reported to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday, October 17, and now detectives are seeking tips from the public regarding the person who was found dead.

According to an Oct. 22 press release from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, deputies initially responded to the report on Oct. 17 just before 6 p.m. in the area of NW Sellers and Linklater Roads, about five north of Banks.  

The death—estimated to have occurred about two weeks earlier—was determined to be suspicious due to undisclosed evidence at the scene by detectives with Washington County’s Violent Crimes Unit.

Detectives could not identify the person until an autopsy was completed Monday, Oct. 18 by the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office.

While the investigation is ongoing, the results of the autopsy will not be released, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said. 

On Wednesday, Oct. 20, the Oregon State Crime Lab identified the body as that of 42-year-old Jessica Elizabeth Hart. Hart’s family was notified the same day. 

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office described Hart. and the vehicle she was driving. 

“Hart was White, about 5’8” tall, and weighed about 210 pounds. Hart was wearing a camouflage hat, sweater, and stretch pants as well as black Sketchers tennis shoes. Hart had been driving a black 2006 Saab 93 soft-top convertible which was recently spray painted white.”

A stock image of a Saab 93, courtesy WCSO

The sheriff’s office recovered Hart’s vehicle.

Anyone with information regarding Hart’s Death or who saw the vehicle or was in contact with Hart in the past several months was asked to call the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 503-846-2700.

The county’s Search and Rescue Team—made up of youths ages 14 to 21—and the Remote Operated Vehicle Unit aided at the scene.

The Sheriff’s Office noted that no further information would be released at this time. 

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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