Tiffany Jenks (right) with her sister, Jennifer. // Photo courtesy of The Jenks family
Tiffany Jenks in Pendleton earlier this month. // Photo courtesy of The Jenks family
Blue Lake Park in Fairview.
FAIRVIEW, OR (KPTV) -
Family members of a woman found dead at the entrance to Blue Lake Park on Tuesday said they have no idea how she ended up there considering she lived in downtown Portland and didn't own a car.
Fairview police said someone who lives in the area found the body of 35-year-old Tiffany Jenks and reported it just before 7:30 a.m.
Detectives said Jenks' death is a homicide. The state medical examiner said she died from a gunshot. One neighbor said she woke up to the sound of a shot fired at around 2:15 a.m. that day.
Jennifer Jenks, Tiffany's sister, said news of her sister's death came as a shock.
"I don't know anything more about that night, about who she was with or what she was doing, so I don't know what the police are thinking or what clues they have," she said.
Police haven't said if they've taken anyone into custody, but a police statement said "there is believed to be no immediate threat to the public."
Jennifer Jenks said she's only aware of a single dangerous situation involving her sister. She said an ex-boyfriend had been violent with her in the past, and she told her sister to stay away from him.
"I knew that she had some interactions with him after that, but as far as I knew, she hadn't had any contact with him of late. That's the only situation I know of that I thought was dangerous," she said.
Jennifer Jenks said her sister was an "accomplished" runner, and even competed in high school and college. She ran in the Hood to Coast Relay and in breast cancer awareness charity runs. She described her as an outgoing and caring person who liked to meet new people and learn new things.
She also said her sister struggled with the death of her father a few years ago, and it was "really, really hard on her." She quit her job at the Bonneville Power Administration after that, and had struggles with drugs and alcohol.
"Last time I talked to her, she sounded really good. She sounded really happy and she sounded positive about her future," Jennifer Jenks said.
Police haven't said how long Tiffany Jenks' body was at the park before it was found.
"We don't know exactly how long. Based on the weather and the rain, it's been a little bit - maybe a couple hours," said Sgt. Bernie Meyer from the Fairview Police Department.
Jenks was fully clothed, police said.
With few lights in the area, neighbors said that it's tough to see anything around the park at night. They can't remember something of this magnitude ever happening at the park before.
"It's a big park. You got a lot of people coming in to visit," said neighbor Nick Russell. "Like any of them ... there's issues, but I think that's a reflection on our society."
Fairview police would like to speak with anyone who may have information about Jenks. Anyone with a tip is asked to call 503-661-3784.
Tiffany Jenks' family said they hope police can make an arrest soon.
"She had a lot to give. She didn't deserve this," Jennifer Jenks said.
A memorial account has been set up by the family to help pay for funeral expenses. Donations can be made at U.S. Bank branches in the name "Tiffany Jenks Memorial Fund."
Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.
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