CHARGES IN OREGON KILLINGS
Ward Weaver has been jailed since August 13 when he was arrested on rape charges involving his 19 year old son's girlfriend. Following that alleged rape, the upset son told 9-1-1 dispatchers that his father had killed Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis, two 13 year old girls who disappeared last winter. After finding the remains of one human body in a shed, FBI agents searched Weaver's property for any sign of the missing girls. They began digging beneath a concrete slab the man had poured shortly after the disappearances. Authorities announced August 26 that they had identified a body in a barrel buried under the concrete slab as that of Ashley. The body in the shed was identified as that of Miranda. Weaver, who has not been charged in the disappearances and has denied any involvement, agreed to the search because he wanted to bring closure to the families, his attorney, Timothy Lyons, told The Oregonian. It is not know why Weaver needed to consent to the search since he already had been evicted from the house. His attorney did not explain what Weaver meant by closure. Weaver, whose own father is on death row in California for killing a woman and burying her body in his yard, told reporters several months ago that the FBI considered him a suspect. The previous summer, Ashley had accused him of molesting her, but he denied the allegations and was never charged. Ashley's family last saw her January 9, and on March 8, 2001, Miranda disappeared from the same apartment complex. Police were reviewing the unsolved November 25, 1997, disappearance of 16 year old Karen Mitchell for possible links to Weaver. At the time, police had investigated Ward Weaver's father, but quickly learned he was on California's death row for killing an Air Force cadet and his fiancee. They didn't know that there was a Ward Weaver (III) at that time. Karen was last seen talking to an older man in a car along U.S. 101, which runs through Eureka. The search for any other bodies at Weaver's rental home appeared to be winding down.
With Weaver already in jail, he was arrested Friday on charges he murdered the two girls.
(Oregon City, Oregon)