Deputies identify bodies found in Mt. Hood National Forest, say victims were killed

Updated: Aug. 14, 2019 at 9:34 AM PDT
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ESTACADA Ore. (KPTV) - The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office has identified the man and woman who were found dead in the Mount Hood National Forest near Estacada.

At around 9:45 a.m. Monday, deputies and U.S. Forest Service officers responded to a 911 call from someone who discovered two bodies.

The sheriff’s office said the bodies of Stacy Jean Rickerd, 42, and Jeremy David Merchant, 43, both of Estacada, were found in the area of a shooting pit off 4615 Road and the 130 Spur.

Investigators initially called the deaths “suspicious.”

The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office determined that both died of homicidal violence. Detectives said they have ruled out the possibility of their deaths being an accident.

No arrests have been made, and the sheriff’s office said they have no suspect information to provide at this time.

“It’s a weird feeling that we’re just kind of out here and we’ve heard that two people have been killed and this guy, or girl, or whoever is on the loose and we don’t know anything about it,” said Tori Weakly, who is visiting Estacada.

Weakly and Jimmy Santos are from Sandy, but they’re visiting Estacada to recruit bus drivers. They say the killings and all the unanswered questions make them nervous.

“My friend was telling me how nervous she feels by me going out to get lunch and leaving her behind, so we had to pack things out and we left together so she can feel at ease,” said Santos.

The sheriff’s office said a dog named Talladega was also located at the scene. Talladega was safely captured and taken to Clackamas County Dog Services before being placed in the care of family members of the deceased.

Deputies said Merchant and Rickerd were in a long-term relationship and Talladega was their dog.

At the scene, someone brought fresh flowers to remember the two lives lost.

“You’re never going to have maybe full closure, but maybe more closure once you know the full story, what happened and who did it. And hopefully they can prosecute and maybe get a little closure,” Weakly said.

No other information has been released at this time as the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the sheriff’s office tip line at 503-723-4949 or Please reference CCSO case number 19-018794.