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News / Clark County News

Man indicted in Oregon in three women’s deaths, including one found dead in Clark County

Jesse Lee Calhoun, 39, has been indicted in the deaths of Joanna Speaks, 32, Charity Lynn Perry, 24, and Bridget Leanne Webster, 31

By Becca Robbins, Columbian staff reporter
Published: May 17, 2024, 3:48pm

A Multnomah County, Ore., grand jury Thursday indicted a man on murder charges in the deaths of three women, including one whose body was found in April 2023 near an abandoned barn in Ridgefield.

The grand jury indicted Jesse Lee Calhoun, 39, on three counts of second-degree murder and three counts of second-degree abuse of a corpse.

Prosecutors say they’ve tied Calhoun to the deaths of Joanna Speaks, 32, Charity Lynn Perry, 24, and Bridget Leanne Webster, 31, according to a Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office news release.

On April 8, 2023, Clark County Sheriff’s Office detectives responded to a report of a deceased person, later identified as Speaks, at 8004 S. Fifth St., in Ridgefield, about a mile east of Interstate 5. The sheriff’s office previously said there was evidence she died elsewhere and her body was moved to that location.

The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office said she died from blunt head and neck injuries. Her death was ruled a homicide, meaning it resulted from another person’s deliberate action. The ruling does not make any judgments about criminal culpability.

Perry, 24, was found April 21, 2023, at Ainsworth State Park in east Multnomah County. Perry was known to spend time in Vancouver, KGW-TV reported. Webster, 31, was found April 30, 2023, in Polk County, Ore., the district attorney’s office said.

Members of multiple law enforcement agencies investigated the women’s deaths. Following the Thursday indictment, prosecutors notified the women’s families, the news release states.

“(The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office) recognizes the profound effect these women’s deaths have had on their families, friends and the community,” the news release states. “(The district attorney’s office) is committed to ensuring justice for the victims and their families.”

Investigators previously connected the deaths of Perry and Webster, along with those of Kristin Smith and Ashley Real.

Smith, 22, whose body was found Feb. 19, 2023, in Southeast Portland, was reported missing Dec. 22, 2022. Real, 22, was found May 7, 2023, in Clackamas County, Ore. She was reported missing about a month earlier, according to a prior district attorney’s office news release.

Calhoun has not been charged in Smith or Real’s deaths. Their deaths remain under investigation, officials said Friday.

Calhoun remains in custody at the Snake River Correctional Institution in Eastern Oregon, the Friday news release states. He has been in custody there since July on unrelated charges. Calhoun will be transported to Multnomah County to be arraigned.

Officials ask anyone with information about the women’s deaths or Calhoun to contact Portland Police Bureau Detective Jeff Pontius at jeffery.pontius@police.portlandoregon.gov or Detective Stephen Gandy at stephen.gandy@police.portlandoregon.gov.