Rocky Butte search ends without teen's body

Rocky Butte search ends without teen's body

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on April 4, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Updated Monday, Apr 4 at 11:28 AM

PORTLAND -- A three-day search of Portland's Rocky Butte and an adjacent former golf driving range did not yield the body of 14-year-old Yashanee Vaughn.

Law enforcement sources have told KGW that her boyfriend, 16-year-old Parrish Bennette reportedly killed her in his home.

Searchers combed over about 200 acres of property along Rocky Butte. Bennette's home is in that area and Vaughn was last seen waiting for a Tri-Met bus on 82nd Avenue west of the butte.

Search crews from Washington and Multnomah counties, plus volunteers, were parked along the top of the butte by the historic stone walls Friday searching through the weekend.

"She's out there somewhere," said family friend Jeaneen Montgomery, "We want to bring her in so we can lay her to rest."

Portland Police Lt. Kelli Sheffer said police and Multnomah County crews were searching for evidence on and around the butte, but no significant information was expected soon.

“I don’t think we realized how vast it is … we want to make sure were being very thorough and methodical in the search,” Sheffer said.

Sgt. Diana Olsen of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office said the 200 acres was broken down into 1.5 acre grids.

The search was on steep terrain covered with thick brush. Some searchers rappelled down cliffs. Olsen said the park terrain had hidden holes, crevices and that some searches had minor injuries from tumbles.

Vaughn's friends conducted their own searches of other areas where the girl and Bennette frequented.

"We're all family here," Montgomery said, "and we want to bring her home."

Meantime, on Monday, the City of Portland lowered flags to half-staff in honor of Vaughn. And on Wednesday, Dan Saltzman said he also planned to honor Vaughn during the Portland City Council meeting at City Hall.

“Our community has lost a bright young person. While the investigation continues, it is important that we take a moment to honor her life,” Commissioner Saltzman said.

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