Missing Gresham woman’s remains found in Portland, police say

The remains of Kristin Smith, 22, were found in a wooded area of a Portland neighborhood months after she was reported missing.
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 3:43 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - The remains of a Gresham woman missing since December were found in a Portland neighborhood.

Kristin Smith, 22, was reported missing by her family on December 22, 2022. Nearly two months later on February 19, 2023 her remains were found in a wooded area, near Southeast Deardorff Road and Southeast Flavel Street in the Pleasant Valley Neighborhood, according to police.

Over the following months, investigators gathered evidence from the scene and conducted more searches, according to a written statement from Portland police on Thursday. Her family was also notified after her remains were positively identified.

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Smith’s family said they’ll always remember her contagious smile.

“The giggle, that girl had a laugh that was very unique,” Melissa Smith, Kristin’s mother, said.

Her family never let up hope she would be found.

“I had dinner with her the last time I saw her and spoke about her cat. She loved her cat very, very much,” Melissa said. “I think of her every moment of every day.”

Her family’s search has turned into one for answers.

“What happened. I know she didn’t just suddenly die out there, somebody did something,” Melissa said.

Loved ones gathered at her family’s home to not only grieve the unimaginable loss, but to share cherished memories. They remember her creative spirit.

“She taught me how to do my hair, nails, makeup, all of it,” Hailey Smith, Kristin’s sister, said.

“She loved wearing wigs and makeup,” Melissa said. “That girl was left-handed and she could draw, she was a really good artist.”

And found some comfort being surrounded by the animals Kristin considered family.

“Echy’s over here or Echo, we call her Echy. That’s always what her nickname was,” Hailey said.

“We always have a piece of Kristin with us. We have her cat,” Melissa said.

But they said closure would be finding out what happened to Kristin.

“For the truth to come out. She deserves justice,” Melissa said.

Authorities said the death investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact Portland Police detectives.

The family has set up an online fundraiser to help with memorial and funeral-related expenses.