Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Another body found at Roger's Landing


Public safety — Discovered by two kayakers April 19, no identity or gender determined yet

A body was pulled from the Willamette River April 19 after being discovered by two kayakers at Roger’s Landing.

Capt. Tim Svenson of the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office said investigators have so far been unable to identify the body.

Although initially believed to be a person who jumped off a bridge in Salem recently, Svenson said further examination shows the body has been in the water for at least eight to 10 months. The investigation is ongoing and Svenson said once more information is determined, such as a gender, the office may be able to partner with local agencies to determine an identity.

“At first, Marion County didn’t have any missing persons, but I believe Benton County may have,” Svenson said. “It’s possible during the winter months (the body) came all the way from Benton County.”

A young Newberg resident named Madison Bechtold discovered the body while kayaking with her father. She said in an email that after a current took her to the end of a gravel bar, she pulled out of the water to search for her father who had stopped behind her.

“I came to the logs, and was preparing to climb over them when I looked down and saw a white ‘rock,’ said Bechtold, a sophomore at Newberg High School. “On closer examination, it took me all of two seconds to realize what it was. The skull was facing into the dirt, so I only saw the back of it, but the lines where the growth plates come together was a telltale sign that it was skull.”

Bechtold said when she saw the body attached, she was shocked but not terrified.

“I’ve seen so much worse on TV. I started watching horror movies when I was about 7,” she said. “But this was real and I didn’t really believe it.”

After calling 9-1-1, she waited with her father for a couple of hours until the police arrived.

“I really wanted to stay to see how the investigation worked, so that I could learn as much about the situation as possible, but my dad said we had to go,” she said. “About half an hour later the boats came to investigate.”