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Search for Missing Oregon City Girl Expands


March 11, 2002
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Search for Missing Oregon City Girl Expands

Associated Press

OREGON CITY, Ore. (AP) - The FBI expanded its efforts to find a missing 13-year-old girl, but still had no solid information on her whereabouts, a spokeswoman for the agency said Sunday.

About 60 FBI agents and support staff were involved in the search for Miranda Gaddis, who disappeared after leaving an Oregon City apartment complex on Friday. She is the second girl who lived at the complex to disappear in the last two months.

"Almost every FBI agent in this area (Portland) who's available is here," spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele said. "They're all busy, and they're all interviewing people."

Another nine Oregon City police officers, about one-third of the city's police department, joined the effort Sunday.

Investigators are considering two possibilities: that Miranda ran away or that she was a victim of foul play. Steele would not say if investigators thought one scenario was more likely than the other.

FBI agents spent the day canvassing the area and interviewing specific people who might have seen or heard something that would explain why Miranda never made it to school Friday, Steele said.

Ashley Pond, Miranda's teammate on the Gardiner Middle School dance team, was last seen at the same apartment complex about 8 a.m. on Jan. 9. She was supposed to be heading to the bus stop but never made it. Ashley's 13th birthday was March 1.

Oregon City Police Detective Viola Valenzuela-Garcia said investigators don't have any evidence to connect the disappearances of the two girls.

Police have considered the possibility that Ashley ran away from home, but she didn't pack any clothes and hasn't called any friends since her disappearance. Police now characterize her as endangered and missing under suspicious circumstances.

Police also are considering the possibility that Miranda ran away, but she also didn't pack any clothes or her makeup.

Miranda's friends did their part to find her Sunday, posting more than 2,000 missing-person fliers around Clackamas County. They doubt she ran away.

Kara Pullen, an eighth-grader and a dance team member, said Miranda had been looking forward to the team's dance competition Saturday the day after she disappeared.

Danielle Forrette, a Gardiner eighth-grader, described Miranda as sweet, outgoing and energetic.

"She had a great life. She was popular," Danielle said.

Miranda's mother, Michelle Duffey, and other relatives also helped post fliers Sunday.

"It makes me feel like I am doing something," Duffey said. "I can't sit at home any more."




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