UPDATE: Parrish Bennette appeared in court Friday afternoon and was remanded in custody on a charge of manslaughter. Prosecutors attempted to bring a charge of murder against the teen, but after reviewing the evidence in a closed session, the judge ruled they did not have enough evidence to make the charge.
Police are searching on Rocky Butte for evidence connected to the disappearance of 14-year-old Yashawnee Vaughn, who has been missing since March 19. Police have said they believe the Helensview student was killed March 19. Meanwhile family, friends and volunteers are conducting their own search based from Powell Park at Southeast 26th and Powell. The Skanner News Video: A memorial for Yashawnee
From the original Portland Police Bureau press release:
"On Thursday, March 31, 2011, Portland Police Detectives arrested 16-year-old Parrish Bennette in connection with the disappearance of 14-year-old Yashawnee Vaughn, who was reported missing on March 21, 2011. Bennette has been charged with One Count of Murder and is currently lodged in the Multnomah County Juvenile Detention Center. Preliminary evidence suggests Yashawnee was killed on March 19, 2011.
On Monday, March 21, 2011, at 10:17 p.m., Shaquita Louis called police to report her daughter, Yashawnee Vaughn, was missing. Ms. Louis said she hadn't had contact with her daughter since Friday, March 18, 2011. An officer took the report and entered information into LEDS (Law Enforcement Data System) and NCIC (National Crime Information Center) as a Missing Juvenile. The officer also sent an alert to all working officers that he had taken a Missing Report on Yashawnee Vaughn.
On March 23, 2011, at 8:28 a.m., Ms. Louis called again to report her daughter was still missing. The responding officer spoke to Ms. Louis and contacted Detective Dran of the Missing Persons' Unit to make sure the previously filed missing report had been reviewed. Two Detectives began working the case that morning and contacted Ms Louis for additional information. Ms. Louis also contacted Gang Enforcement Team officers who contacted Missing Persons to ensure they were aware of the situation.
As with any missing person case, Detectives must begin an investigation to determine the specifics of the situation, including if the person left on their own free will. This includes talking to family members, associates, friends and pursuing various leads. Detectives had no indication to believe that Yashawnee had been abducted or foul play was involved until they received information on Sunday evening, March 27, 2011. Subsequent search warrants and additional information has brought new information to light. Detectives have informed the family about these new developments in the investigation.
"I share the community's concern with the disappearance and now subsequent murder investigation of a young Portland woman," said Chief Michael Reese. "Our Detectives are actively involved in investigating this case and the Police Bureau will release additional details as soon as possible when it doesn't jeopardize the investigation. As Police Chief, I've been briefed throughout the investigation and Detectives have worked diligently over the course of the last week to pursue all leads in this case."
The Police Bureau is releasing a timeline of events to clarify what has occurred in regard to this case. Detectives would like to appeal to the community to call police if they have any information about this investigation. Detective Mark Slater can be reached at (503) 823-9319 or Detective Erik Kammerer at 503-823-0762."
According to Parrish's Facebook page he was a student at Madison High School. The family have told the Oregonian he was Yashawnee Vaughn's friend/boyfriend. Students at several high schools who knew Yashawnee Vaughn posted Facebook comments expressing their deep grief and condolences for the teen's family and friends. Students who know Parrish, posted comments expressing shock and disbelief at his arrest.
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