Ore. Man Charged with the Murders of 3 Women Who Were Found Dead Under 'Suspicious Circumstances'

Jesse Lee Calhoun was first identified as a suspect in connection with two of victims' deaths in July 2023

<p>Oregon Department of Corrections via AP</p> Jesse Lee Calhoun

Oregon Department of Corrections via AP

Jesse Lee Calhoun

An Oregon man has been charged in connection with the “suspicious” deaths of three women.

In a news release on Friday, May 17, the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office announced that a grand jury had indicted Jesse Lee Calhoun on murder charges for Charity Lynn Perry, 24, Bridget Leanne Webster, 31, and Joanna Speaks, 32, who were each “found deceased under suspicious circumstances in 2023.”

Following an investigation involving multiple law enforcement agencies, Calhoun, 39, was identified as a suspect in the deaths, the office said.

He has been charged with three counts of second-degree murder, as well as three counts of second-degree abuse of a corpse in connection with the women’s deaths, per the office.

Calhoun is currently in custody at Snake River Correctional Institution, a medium security prison in Malheur County, Oregon, where he was admitted in July 2023, prison records show.

It is not immediately clear if he has legal representation to comment on his behalf.

Calhoun is “expected to be transferred to the custody of Multnomah County for arraignment on the indicted charges,” authorities said.

The release did not include many details about the investigation that led to Calhoun’s arrest, the case or the “suspicious circumstances” surrounding the victims’ deaths.

<p>AP Photo/Jenny Kane</p> A person wears a T-shirt with the names of Kristin Smith, Charity Lynn Perry, Joanna Speaks, Ashley Real, and Bridget Webster on it at a May 17 news conference

AP Photo/Jenny Kane

A person wears a T-shirt with the names of Kristin Smith, Charity Lynn Perry, Joanna Speaks, Ashley Real, and Bridget Webster on it at a May 17 news conference

The womens’ families have been informed of the charges, and Perry's mother, Diana Allen, said in a May 17 press conference it has been “very, very frustrating” to not have answers during the ongoing investigation, but she trusts investigators.

"Even though they wouldn't give me the answers, I knew they had answers,” she said.

In July 2023, the Multnomah County District Attorney said investigators had determined that there are “links” between the deaths of four women, including Perry and Webster, whose bodies were found on April 24, 2023, and April 30, 2023, respectively.

At the time, multiple sources from various agencies confirmed that Calhoun was the person of interest, CBS Portland affiliate KOIN-TV reported.

The other two women were identified as Kristin Smith and Ashley Real, who were both 22 at the time of their deaths.

At the time, the D.A. said that “no charges have been filed against anyone in connection with any of these four death investigations,” but investigators had “identified at least one person of interest that is linked to all four of the decedents.”

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Speaking about her daughter, Kristin, on May 17, Melissa Smith told reporters that as officials continue to investigate her death, "We keep waiting, we keep praying and stay hopeful."

"We stay hopeful that we soon can get justice for them as well," she added.

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