Oregon woman’s body found in Washington; investigators suspect homicide

RIDGEFIELD, Wash. (KGW) — Investigators in Clark County have launched a homicide investigation after the body of an Oregon woman was found on an abandoned property near Ridgefield earlier this month.

Officers from the Ridgefield Police Department and crews from Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue responded to reports of a body found at a property in the 8000 block of South 5th Street just before 6 p.m. on April 8. Officers requested that the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit respond, along with a similar unit headed by Vancouver police.

At the time, law enforcement did not release any further details about the identity of the person found on the property or the circumstances of their death.

On Tuesday, the sheriff’s office released a statement revealing that the person had been identified as Joanna Speaks, 32, of Oregon. Her death was ruled a homicide, but CCSO did not offer any further details about how she died.

Speaks’ body was found near an abandoned barn on the property, and the sheriff’s office said that there were signs she’d been moved to that location.

“CCSO is asking for the public’s assistance with this investigation,” the agency said. “Please contact detectives if you are aware of any suspicious people or vehicles at or near 8004 S 5th St in Ridgefield during the last few weeks. If you have recent contact with Joanna Speaks or have information about where she has been staying or who she has been associating with, please contact detectives.”

Anyone with further information is asked to contact the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit tip line at 564-397-2847.

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