Investigators believe Cedar Mill stabbing victim was targeted
- Shannon O. Wells
- Portland Tribune - News
Detectives seek public's help to find suspect in murder of Forest Grove woman
Investigators believe a 29-year-old Forest Grove woman who was stabbed to death at a Cedar Mill apartment complex on Tuesday was likely targeted by her killer, and there is no ongoing threat to area residents.
Investigators are pursuing leads and "hundreds of pieces of evidence" in seeking a suspect in the fatal stabbing of Nicole Laube, 29, of Forest Grove.
"Because it was such an unusual incident, we don't have information to lead us to believe there is a continued danger to the public," said Sgt. Bob Ray, spokesman with the Washington County Sheriffs Office. "We could be mistaken, but we didn't want the public to be unnecessarily alarmed any more than they already are."
Detectives ask the public to continue providing tips as the homicide investigation continues, noting that any piece of information could prove critical.
"It's really important that people call in," Ray said. "Even if it's a small piece of information that you may think is insignificant, it may be an important part of this case."
Laube was found lying on the ground in a parking lot of The Commons at Timber Creek apartments in the 12000 block of Northwest Barnes Road on Tuesday just after 5 p.m.
A neighbor reported that Laube approached her in a breezeway of the complex and said she had been stabbed by a man wearing a black hoodie and camouflage-covered pants. Another resident called the sheriffs office for assistance.
Deputies found Laube, an employee of the apartment complex since late July, in the parking lot near the breezeway. She was unconscious and bleeding with multiple stab wounds, Ray said.
Deputies administered emergency lifesaving assistance, but Laube was pronounced deceased shortly after.
"We believe she was hanging fliers on (apartment) doors for residents to re-up their leases as they were coming due," Ray said, noting Laube had not worked at the complex long enough to be familiar to many residents.
An autopsy the Oregon Medical Examiner's office concluded on Wednesday determined Laube was stabbed with a sharp object, Ray said.
"I can't disclose where (on her body) or how many times," he said.
Led by the sheriffs office, an intensive manhunt with K-9s and more than 20 law enforcement personnel from surrounding agencies was unable to locate a suspect on Tuesday.
No murder weapon has been located.
Investigators are trying to determine if Laube, who was married with four children, knew her attacker.
Social media pages portray Laube, whose father is Pastor Rich Jones of Calvary Chapel Beaverton's Hillsboro campus, as a passionate advocate for health and fitness. A memorial service for Laube was held Wednesday evening at the chapel at 6550 S.E. Alexander St.
Calvary Chapel's Facebook page on Thursday featured a post that read, "Please pray for Pastor Rich, Jordi and their family, as well as for Nicole's husband, Chris, and their children during this time of mourning. Pray that the Lord would bring healing and peace."
A resident of The Commons at Timber Creek told the Valley Times he had seen Laube around but didnt know her personally. On Tuesday afternoon, about 10 minutes before he heard any sirens, the neighbor's dog "started barking like crazy."
"So she heard something, but I thought it was just the upstairs neighbors moving around," the resident told the Valley Times. "She just wouldn't stop barking."
The resident, who had greeted Laube a few times and said she "was nice," noted that fellow residents are uneasy in the wake of the violent tragedy.
Theres some of us scaredy-cats who worry that the perpetrator may be a resident who simply stayed in his apartment after the incident, he said. We are worried because this happened in broad daylight, and as far as we know, nobody heard anything. Its scary to think the place you live is the place where something like this can happen.
An autopsy is underway as the investigation continues.
"We have canvassed and interviewed people from the apartment building and all around there," Ray said. "We don't have the manpower to knock on doors of every apartment, but we've made many calls and left messages. We're reaching out to the public as a whole. We're processing a large number of (calls). They're still coming in."
Deputies "rarely go to" The Commons at Timber Creek on disturbance calls, Ray noted, particularly after the complex was remodeled about seven years ago.
"They really improved the rental requirements," he said. "It's not a place the sheriff's office frequents."
Emphazing the likely targeted nature of Laube's murder, Ray called violent stranger-on-stranger attacks "very rare."
"There is no evidence to suggest it was not a random attack," he said on Friday. "Detectives do not have definitive evidence to lead them toward a firm conclusion as to why the attack occurred or who may be responsible."
Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriffs office at 503-629-0111.