UPDATE: A woman missing since Saturday has been found safe and in good health in Roseburg, the Washington County Sheriff's Office reported.
Based on a tip from the public, Lane County deputies located missing 23-year-old Demi Helenius Tuesday evening around 8:30 p.m. in Roseburg, police said.
Roseburg is about 60 miles south of Creswell, where Helenius' phone was found Saturday night.
The family released the following statement on Wednesday:
We were happy and relieved to find out Demi was found safe Tuesday evening.
Most importantly at this time, we would like to express our gratitude to the Lane county and Washington county sheriffs, all the news networks that kept running the story, everyone who kept us in their thoughts and prayer, anyone who shared the posts on social media and the amazing people who generously took time out of their lives to hand out fliers and talk to people and businesses.
We were overwhelmed with the love and support we felt during this tough time. It definitely restored our faith in humanity.
We could not have found her without everyone's exhausted efforts.
The Culley Family
COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. -- Family and friends of a missing Rock Creek woman canvassed Cottage Grove on Tuesday.
They spoke to people and handed out flyers to see if anyone knows anything about 23-year-old Demi Helenius. She’s been described as a genuinely warm and kind person.
Investigators say Helenius disappeared on Saturday under suspicious circumstances.
“It's unreal. I’m still, I'm numb. I'm numb,” said Casey Culley, Helenius’ older brother.
After three painful days with no answers as to where his sister could be, Culley said he’s not giving up.
“We won't rest until she's back home safe in our arms,” he said.
That's why a small group showed up in Cottage Grove to form their own search party.
“Her car was found here, but she was at the Embassy Suites in Portland at the airport, so we're looking for her,” said one volunteer as he passed out a flier.
Helenius disappeared on Saturday evening. She was attending The Landmark Worldwide Forum, a self-help seminar at the Embassy Suites Hotel. Investigators said she signed out for a dinner break at about 6 p.m. but never came back. Her family hasn't heard from her since Saturday morning, when she left her home for the conference. She lives with her parents.
“I struggle to think what life would like without her because we've never went a day or two without talking or texting,” said Culley.
Later on Saturday night, her cellphone was found in Creswell. It’s about 130 miles south of Portland. Apparently, someone had picked it up and turned it into a Dairy Queen after they said they saw it being tossed out a car window in a parking lot. Investigators said they’re following up.
“This kind of stuff, taking off like this and going this far, and losing phones and stuff like that, it's not, it's out of character,” Culley said.
Family members have also said that Helenius is normally very communicative about her whereabouts.
On Monday, thanks to tips, police went to Cottage Grove, about nine miles south of Creswell, where they found her car. Upon first glance, there didn’t appear to be any foul play, but investigators said the car is being more thoroughly inspected at the Oregon State Police Crime Lab. Helenius' family said none of it makes sense.
“She has no money. She doesn't have a credit card. She doesn't have a bank card. Her ID, some money, and her keys with her fob and our house keys was in the car unlocked,” said Melody Helenius, Demi’s mother.
Family and friends also planned to search the Creswell area Tuesday evening.
For now, the search will go on. Helenius' family said they want her to know she is loved.
“This girl is missed. We will not rest until she's home. Anything you can do to just bring her back. Our hearts are broken until she returns home safely alive in our arms. Anything you can do, please help us, please,” said Culley.
Family members said Helenius had recently started taking new anxiety medication, but her family said that doesn't change the fact that she's missing and they have no idea what may have happened.
At this point, investigators do not have any solid leads. Detectives hope to speak with people who attended the same seminar as Helenius, as well as anyone who may have seen anything.
Call the Washington County Sheriff's Office at 503-846-2500 if you have any information or if you saw Helenius’ black 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Fender Edition anytime between Saturday night through to Monday morning. It may help detectives figure out where Helenius may have been and at what time.
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