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Police search for person of interest in Lafayette homicide

Body found in field near Lafayette identified as 37-year-old woman


The Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office has publicly identified a female body found Sunday in a field near Lafayette, and is searching for a person of interest.

Lilia Cosco-Ortiz, 37, of Vancouver, Wash., was identified as the deceased late Monday and her name was released Tuesday.

She was last seen leaving her Vancouver home on Oct. 1, the sheriff’s office said, and her family thought she was headed for the Oregon coast. They expected her back that night or the next, but when she didn’t return by Sunday evening her family reported her as missing to the Vancouver Police Department.VILLALBA

On Sunday afternoon a few passersby found Cosco-Ortiz’s body in a field near Lafayette and they notified authorities.

On Monday law enforcement determined she had died of homicidal violence, the sheriff’s office said in a release.

The Yamhill County Major Crimes Response Team identified Victor Melcher Villalba, 37, as a “person of interest” in the case. Villalba, who police said also goes by the name Victor Bello Rojas, was last seen driving a white, 2003 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck with Oregon plate 184 HLF.The pickup is an extended cab truck with some body damage to the right side of the tailgate.

Authorities are asking anyone with information about Villalba or the vehicle to call 9-1-1, while anyone with general information about the case can contact Detective Justin Brester with the sheriff’s office at 503-434-7506 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Capt. Brandon Bowdle at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..