PORTLAND -- Searchers looking for the body of murdered teen Yashanee Vaughn located human remains Friday at Rocky Butte using information provided by the girl's accused killer.
Investigators were working to confirm the identity of the body as Vaughn, 14, who was killed in March, according to prosecutors. A source tells KGW police believe the remains are those of Vaughn.
Friends and family held a vigil on Friday evening -- where people expressed a range of emotions including grief, relief and gratitude.
Vaughn was last seen March 19. Parrish Bennette, Jr., 16, has been charged with her murder and law enforcement sources said the search is based on information from him.
Timeline:Police on Vaughn case(PDF)
Portland Police Lt. Robert King said Multnomah County District Attorneys and Oregon State Police had been at the site all day.
Acting chief Larry O'dea said a set of human remains was discovered and there had been no confimation of the remains and processing the crime scene would likely take more than a day.
After Bennette was denied bail last Thursday, his attorneys asked for a meeting with prosecutors, which then produced information resulting in the current search.
Bennette (above) in a previous court hearing
Crews erected a tent a few yards off of the road just after noon. Vaughn's family arrived at the scene around 1:30 p.m.
The discovery of human remains that occurred today in connection with ongoing investigation in this case resulted from information provided by the defendant this week, D. A. Michael Schrunk said. No promises or agreements of any kind were made in connection with the provision of this information.
Background: Police believe 14-year-old killed by boyfriend
We all know why we're here and we all know what the conclusion is going to be, Vaughn family spokesperson Michelle Bart said, before thanking officials, police and the media.
Bart said Yashanee would eventually be laid to rest by the family and that the family expected police to release her body this weekend.
After Yashanee is found the fight is not over, Bart said. Yashanee's situuation should be an example that crime is not justice, adding pleas to stop the violence.
My heart goes out to Yashannee's family, Mayor Sam Adams said. If it is found to be her it brings a small, but measurable closure to this family, he said.
Bennette was denied bail by a judge at a hearing on July 7, a move that was crucial in helping to gather more information in the case, former Portland homicide investigator C.W. Jensen said.
When you're denied bail, this is saying to a suspect, 'you're not going anywhere,' Jensen said. A judge thinks, 'you know, you're probably guilty and they're going to hold on to you. So after that bail hearing you're going no where and you need to start thinking ... 'Do I need to make a deal?'
Detectives said at that hearing Bennette told his father that after killing Vaughn, he disposed of the body. She had been reported missing by her mother two days after police think the murder occurred.
Det. Mark Sharp described evidence recovered from Bennette's bedroom, bloody shoes, shorts and blood-soaked floorboards under freshly cleaned carpet. Forensic chemicals also revealed a blood smeared wall.
DNA tests showed the blood came from Vaughn.
KGWReporters Erica Heartquist and Tim Gordon contributed to this report