'Important witness' sought in Gresham killing may be on bike - KPTV - FOX 12

'Important witness' sought in Gresham killing may be on bike

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Shooting victim Jessie Cavett Shooting victim Jessie Cavett
Keshia Moritz is wanted for questioning. Keshia Moritz is wanted for questioning.
Joshua Cavett is being held in the Multnomah County Jail. Joshua Cavett is being held in the Multnomah County Jail.
GRESHAM, OR (KPTV) -

A woman who may have witnessed the Saturday morning fatal shooting of Gresham mom Jessie Cavett is now wanted for questioning.

Gresham police identified 28-year-old Keshia Moritz as an "important witness."

Police describe her as 5'6" and about 140 pounds with lots of tattoos on her upper chest, a pierced nose and a pierced lower lip.

Detectives said she may have lost weight since her last DMV photo was taken. They also said her hair is shorter, she's likely wearing glasses and she may be riding a bike.

Detectives said Moritz may be able to help them investigate the shooting, as well as the subsequent abduction of Cavett's daughter by the girl's biological father, Joshua Cavett.

Police said Joshua Cavett shot Jessie Cavett on Saturday morning in her Gresham apartment, took his non-custodial daughter, Paige, and went on the run.

FOX 12 confirmed Jessie Cavett recently filed a restraining order against her estranged husband and that she also filed for divorce.

Family said it was Jessie Cavett's 5-year-old daughter who called a friend for help after witnessing the shooting, and that friend called 911 to report what had happened.

An Amber Alert was issued for the missing toddler hours later, and a tip led police to arrest Joshua Cavett Saturday night around 9 p.m.

The 911 caller who provided that tip asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation from the suspect's friends. He said he was walking out to his car and spotted the suspect holding the 2-year-old wrapped in a blanket.

"He was over in the shadows of the parking lot with his daughter in his arms, and he looked like he was waiting for pick up or drop off of some sort," said the 911 caller. "It was fairly cold last night so it stuck out, but then he turned his head and looked at me, and I saw his tattoos. I just knew instantly it was the guy from the Amber Alert."

The 911 caller said he immediately called police, and within minutes, they had Joshua Cavett surrounded at the 1500 block of SW Pleasant View Drive in Gresham.

Cavett reportedly tried to run at first, but surrendered to police. The 911 caller said he was armed with both guns and knives.

"I was just hoping they would not have to be in a situation where they fired on him and that they could save the girl," said the 911 caller.

"Then we got the call that the child was safe, and that was big. That was the whole purpose of my call. I don't consider myself a hero. That's just doing the right thing," the caller said.

Loved ones describes Jessie Cavett as a loving, devoted mother.

She was reportedly getting her two girls ready to go to a birthday party Saturday morning and then to the pumpkin patch when her estranged husband barged into her Gresham apartment armed with a gun and shot her in the head, according to family.

"Jessie was supposed to be with me. If she had been here, I don't think this would have happened," said a longtime friend who asked to remain anonymous.

The woman said she, too, is afraid of retaliation from Joshua Cavett's friends, and has asked us to protect her identity.

The woman said Joshua Cavett made violent threats to Jessie Cavett and to her own family as well as others in her Molalla neighborhood if they were ever to get involved.

"He was out in the garage, and he would say things like he's seen bodies burn, and that he's heard the sound, and he would ask us if we've heard the sound of eyeballs popping after they burn. He said that if anything ever stood in front of him, he would not stop to kill the parents and he would kill the kids," said Jessie Cavett's friend.

Jessie Cavett's sister, Jennie, said that her sister never regained consciousness after she was shot, and died shortly after Paige was found safe and Josh Cavett was taken into custody.

Loved ones believe she held on for as long as she could just to make sure her little girls were alright.

"Jessie was a fighter, and I knew she wasn't going to give up until she knew her kids, who she lived for, were safe," said Jessie Cavett's friend.

A medical examiner confirmed Jessie Cavett's death Monday morning.

Police have not yet said who has custody of Jessie Cavett's two girls. Family said they are both physically OK, and emotionally doing the best as they can during this difficult time.

Joshua Cavett will make his first court appearance Monday afternoon.

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