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Police say body found near St. Helens was Portland woman

Death of Apache Rose Hightower being investigated as homicide

UPDATE: A person of interest has been identified in the case. Police are seeking the public's help.

Apache Rose HightowerInvestigators said Wednesday evening that a body found on Pittsburg Road outside St. Helens is 24-year-old Apache Rose Hightower of Portland.

Hightower’s body was found at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, by a passerby who didn’t have a cell phone, but asked other drivers to call 911.

“We received a 911 call from a caller who had been told by a passerby who relayed the info,” Columbia County Sheriff Jeff

Dickerson wrote by email Tuesday.

Her body was found down an embankment in a wooded area in the 30000 block of Pittsburg Road, about a mile from Salmonberry Lake, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office reported. Pittsburg Road from Salmonberry Lake to Conibear Road was closed Tuesday evening as the investigation continued.

Investigators say Hightower was the victim of “homicidal violence,” and a homicide investigation is underway.

Fingerprint records helped investigators identify Hightower.

Hightower was reported missing to the Portland Police Bureau shortly after her disappearance.

A social media post from Hightower’s father, Jonny Bradley, before she was discovered indicated she left home Monday night after putting her baby to bed and never returned home. Bradley suspected Hightower could have met with an ex-boyfriend who “wanted her dead and is prison bound and has nothing to lose.”

“We somehow felt she would walk through the door yesterday with a story to tell us but as the hours went by our exhaustion and focus on the baby kept us in a state of stressed out autopilot,” Bradley stated. “Our daughter is missing and we fear the worst.”

On Monday, a person of interest was identified, and police asked for the public's help to find Jesse Allen Lane, 28, of Jackson County.

“All possibilities are being looked at right now, and the Major Crimes Team is engaged [in] chasing them all down,” Dickerson stated.

The CCSO, along with the county’s Major Crimes Team, is investigating the case.

Dickerson stated there is no indication yet of how long the woman’s body had been there.

Investigators are encouraging anyone with information regarding the case to call a recorded tip line at 503-366-4698.