Prosecutor says he will ask grand jury to indict Weaver
OREGON CITY, Ore., -- Authorities said today that they have finished
the rented home of a man suspected of murdering two girls
were found hidden in the backyard, and a prosecutor said
he would ask a
grand jury to indict Ward Weaver III once the evidence
gathered at the
crime scene is processed.
OREGON CITY Police Chief Gordon Huiras said on NBC that the search of
Francis Weaver III's home had ended following the discovery and
of the missing girls, Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis.
He said that while investigators would probe whether Weaver might
connected to other murders or disappearances, the search of his
turned up no additional bodies.
Officials are now awaiting test results to determine how Ashley
Miranda died. FBI Special Agent Charles Mathews told "Today"
take "several more days."
Greg Horner, the chief deputy district attorney in Clackamas
said he would present the case to a grand jury to seek an
the evidence gathered during the four-and-a-half day
search of Weaver's
former home is analyzed. Such a process typically
takes days, if not weeks.
He said it was too early to say whether prosecutors would seek the
DEFENSE EXPECTS INDICTMENT
Weaver, 39, has been in jail since Aug. 13 on an unrelated rape
and has not been charged in either girl's death. But his
Lyons, said that he and his client were expecting that
an indictment would
Ashley Pond, left, and Miranda Gaddis, two teenage girls whose bodies
found on the rental property of Ward Weaver III in Oregon City,
are going to await the return of the indictment and
see what the charges
are and proceed from there," he said.
Meanwhile, Weaver's 19-year-old son, Francis, spoke publicly for
first time about his father's Aug. 13 arrest after allegedly
younger Weaver's girlfriend.
"I'm sorry that any of this even happened," he said on ABC's "Good
"I hope that now that (the girls' families) have closure and
they can go on with their lives and live their lives as
good as they can."
Francis Weaver, who reportedly told police when he reported the
rape of his girlfriend that his father had killed the missing
to say why he believed that.
"(He) needs to be brought to justice for what he's done" and
comment could hinder prosecutors' efforts, Francis Weaver said.
An undated file photo of Ward Weaver III.
Weaver remains in the Clackamas County Jail in lieu of $1 million
until the rape trial, which has been scheduled for Oct. 10. That
change if Weaver is charged with murdering the two girls.
Ashley's remains were found in barrel Sunday buried beneath a
poured concrete slab behind Weaver's rented home, which is very
where the girls lived. Miranda's body was found Saturday in
a shed behind
the home. Ashley and Miranda were 12 and 13 when they
'CASE HAS BEEN RESOLVED'
Weaver, who has denied involvement in the girls' disappearances, was
as a suspect in the case for the first time on Saturday by
agent in charge of the FBI's Portland office.
"Obviously, this is a very sad conclusion to this investigation,"
FBI agent said at a news conference. "On the other hand, I think
has been resolved."
Authorities obtained a search warrant from a judge for Weaver's
late Friday. Almost simultaneously, Weaver gave his written
to search the property.
Weaver's attorney told The Oregonian that his client authorized
search because he wanted to "bring closure to the families."
Some relatives and friends of the Gaddis and Ponds families have
they were bothered that the bodies were found so close to the
"It makes a pit in your stomach. I get angry because she was right
the whole time," said Terri Duffey, Miranda's aunt.
Although Weaver's ex-wife urged police to look under newly poured
in his backyard five months ago, authorities have said that
they have moved
as fast as they could to investigate Weaver given
Mathews said Tuesday on the "Today" show that obtaining a search
required establishing probable cause. "As soon as we were
the task force was on the property," he said.
FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele also said search dogs were
in Weaver's backyard a few months ago, but it's possible that
weren't there at the time.
FATHER ON DEATH ROW
An undated handout photo of Ward Francis Weaver Jr.
The Portland Tribune newspaper reported last week that Ward
father, Ward Francis Weaver Jr., is now on death row in
The truck driver was convicted of killing a man whose car had broken
and of kidnapping, raping and murdering the man's girlfriend,
Barbara Levoy. Her body was found in 1982 buried beneath
a deck at his
home in Oroville, Calif., the newspaper said.
The prosecutor in that case, Ron Shumaker, said the elder Weaver's
route also matched with 26 unsolved hitchhiker homicides, but
he was never
charged with any of the other crimes, the Portland
For Barbara Levoy's brother, Bob Levoy, the search at the younger
home is raising bad memories.
"It's like it's all happening all over again," Levoy of Lebanon, Mo.,
KPTV in Portland. "And I know how the parents of those girls are
Joanna Schisler, center, comforts her daughter, Hannah, 11, after FBI
announced Sunday that remains found in a shed behind the
home of Ward Weaver
were those of Miranda Gaddis. Click "Play" to
hear Jacquie Behrens, resident
of Colton, Ore., describe why she
visited the makeshift memorial outside
ASHLEY ACCUSED WEAVER
Weaver knew Ashley, who was a friend of his daughter. She frequently
overnight at the Weaver house, went on a trip to California
last year with
Weaver and his daughter, and even lived at the house
for several months
last year while her own father was in jail on
charges of abusing her.
Last summer, Ashley had accused Ward Weaver of molesting her, but he
the allegations and was never charged. Family members and
said they had a close, and at times inappropriate,
Ashley disappeared Jan. 9. She was last seen eating breakfast with
younger sister and was to walk to a bus stop near Weaver's home
in a low-income
development tucked into a wooded valley south of
Miranda's mother, Michelle Duffey, said she last saw her daughter on
8, as she prepared to go to school.
The FBI received thousands of tips but were unable to single out a suspect.
Then came the phone call from Weaver's son.
Weaver told reporters several months ago that the FBI considered him
'LIKE A DAUGHTER'
Weaver, a single father, told The Associated Press last month that
treated Ashley as a daughter when she came to visit. He said he
Ashley often wore halter tops and miniskirts and that he
often asked her
to change into something more appropriate while at
"My sister, the first time she saw Ashley, she told me I got to watch
Weaver said at the time. "I said, 'Shut up, she's 12."'
A chain-link fence erected by police around the property has become a
memorial - festooned with flowers, teddy bears, and notes
in which people
expressed their grief. The owner of the home has
indicated that the memorial
will remain at the house until the
community has healed from the dual tragedy.
On Monday night, Michelle Duffey, Miranda's mother, toured the
With a hood over her head and hiding her face, she walked
along the fence,
looking at the flowers, stuffed animals and notes
left to commemorate the
lives of her daughter and her friend, Ashley.
She left without speaking
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NBC's Chip Reid and The Associated Press contributed to this report.