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Two Rescues on N. Oregon Coast, One Murder Investigation

Published 07/09/23 at 6:01 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Two Rescues on N. Oregon Coast, One Murder Investigation

(Oregon Coast) - A murder investigation is underway in the north Oregon coast village of Cape Meares, while not far away the US Coast Guard had to rescue two people in distress at Neskowin this weekend. (Photo US Coast Guard)

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Tillamook County Sheriff's (TCO) office reports there is a major crimes investigation ongoing on 4th street NW in Cape Meares, which is expected to last through today (Sunday).

Around 10 a.m. on July 8, deputies responded to a call of shots fired and suspicious activity.

Officers immediately discovered a deceased male adult inside the home. The investigation soon indicated the 47-year-old man from Portland was a victim of homicide. The Tillamook County Major Crimes Team was brought in along with other investigators.

Tillamook County Sheriff photo

Also investigating is the Oregon State Police Forensic Laboratory, which has begun processing the crime scene, said the sheriff's office.

Another Portland man was identified as a person of interest in the case. TCO said Jonathan Blake Morriss, 31, of Portland was already in custody in Tillamook on unrelated charges.

Tillamook County Sheriff photo

β€œ In order to help protect the integrity of this investigation, and to ensure proper family notification, we will be limiting information released until it is appropriate to do so,” TCO said in a release.

Tillamook County Sheriff photo

A variety of north Oregon coast agencies were a part of this investigation in one way or another: Tillamook Police, Oregon State Police and Manzanita Police and the Tillamook 911 Dispatchers. County chaplains also responded and assisted with this investigation.

Another 30 miles to the south, the village of Neskowin had two Coast Guard rescues take place on July 8.

US Coast Guard photo

An 18-year-old male found himself trapped by high tides at Proposal Rock, the large, tree-covered sea stack at the tideline. The man was, however, on a very dangerous section of the rock facing the west. He was airlifted from the rock by Coast Guard helicopter sent from the Air Facility Newport.

β€œThe aircrew safely hoisted the individual with minor hand abrasions and transported them to EMS in stable condition,” the USCG said on social.

US Coast Guard photo

Crews from the Depoe Bay station also responded to a second person that needed assistance, after he swam out to try and help the stranded person. It's unclear if that second individual was in the water or on the wrong side of the rock as well.

This Oregon coast attraction is much more dangerous than it seems, as tidal conditions get quite rough next to the rock. In 2008, a woman in her 20s who was being proposed to by her boyfriend was swept out to sea in this exact same locale. Her body was never recovered.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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