Oregon detectives say a Washington man called a suicide hotline before his killed his runaway teen girlfriend and then himself.
The Oregonian reports that Aloha, Oregon, teen, Annieka Vaughan, 15, and Zachary Petersen, 23, of Pasco, were reported missing on Oct. 30. On Friday, detectives confirmed that two deceased bodies found in a secluded, wooded area near Wildwood Trail and Upper MacLeay Trail in Portland, were the missing man and teen.
Authorities said that a cadaver dog found the bodies after a witness spotted Petersen’s truck parked in a gravel parking lot off of Northwest Cornell Road. Vaughan’s backpack was inside the truck.
Hearts and prayers go out to the friends and family of Annieka Vaughan. So sorry for your loss. pic.twitter.com/LqYdBcN6nK
— Mountain Wave SAR (@MountainWaveSAR) November 11, 2017
According to the Tri-City Herald, Vaughan began a relationship with Petersen in Aug. after meeting him in Kennewick, and on Oct. 30, ran away to be with him. Petersen disappeared on the same day. Before Petersen left, he called a suicide hotline in Washington, and according to police, he was believed to be suicidal and armed.
The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office said that Petersen shot and killed Vaughan, then shot himself. The motive still remains unclear, but detectives said said that Petersen and Vaughan were caught having sex in a car in Sept., and Petersen was facing possible statutory rape charges.
— Kelsey Watts (@KelseyWattsKPTV) November 10, 2017
“This is the worst thing that could ever happen to somebody,” the teen’s father, Rick Vaughan, said. “This is the worst outcome we could expect.”
Rick Vaughan declined to give further comment on his daughter’s relationship with Petersen, but said she was a “highly artistic” teen who taught herself to play guitar and enjoyed acting and animation.
Meanwhile, a family friend created a GoFundMe campaign to help the family cover expenses involved with the teen’s burial and funeral.
[Feature Photo: Police Handout]