Cold case of woman missing since 2013 reopened after human hair found
Detectives in Oregon reopened their investigation into the 2013 disappearance of a woman after a mushroom hunter found human hair and suspected tissue, officials said Tuesday.
Stephanie Anne Warner vanished after she left a Fourth of July parade in Ashland with her then boyfriend, Lennie Ames, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said. They were supposed to be going to Warner’s house in Ruch, located in southern Oregon near the border with California, but Warner was never seen again.
“Lennie and his son Jared Fournier are believed to know something about Stephanie’s disappearance but have been uncooperative with the investigation,” authorities wrote on Facebook.
Officials believe Warner, then 43, was a victim of homicide, but they’ve never been able to find her to confirm it, Jackson County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jesse Ainsworth said.
Investigators reopened the cold case after a mushroom hunter found human hair and apparently tissue about 2.5 miles from where Warner lived, officials said. After the mushroom hunter reported the suspicious remains, officers went to the scene.
“We went out there and seized some of the hair and we have since confirmed it’s human,” Ainsworth said. The hair is being sent to the Oregon State Police Forensics Laboratory for further testing.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office will be out with search-and-rescue teams and cadaver dogs to see if they can find Warner’s remains, authorities said.
“I believe this case is solvable and that’s why we’re never going to give up until we find her. We want to get Stephanie home to her family and get justice for her,” Ainsworth said.”We’re getting really close. We’ve been digging through everything, all the casebooks, all the evidence, re-interviewing everybody, and we’re close and I know we’re going to find her, but we just need a little bit of help.”