BEND, OR -- A 51-year-old woman was found lying in the road Monday morning, and Bend Police now say her death is suspicious. Bend PD's Sheila Miller says officers were dispatched to NE Second and DeKalb Monday, just after 6:30 a.m., for what initially appeared to be a medical emergency, "We had multiple callers who reported seeing this woman lying in the road. Our officers responded, contacted medics and medics transported her." She was later identified as Jeri Lynn Davies, "My understanding is that Ms. Davies is a member of our houseless community," Miller tells KBND News, "So she sometimes stayed in that area, but was definitely known to some of the people who camp or live in that area, or stay in that shelter, nearby."
Police were notified early Tuesday that she had died, "After Ms. Davies was pronounced dead at the hospital, our officers went to the scene to ensure that we’d collected any evidence that may attribute to her death, canvassing, talking to people who stay in the area, looking for video, that sort of thing." Miller adds, "We don’t know what may have caused that death, and so that’s our investigation; that’s why it’s suspicious. She had some injuries, so an autopsy will be conducted." That autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.
This is the third death investigation this summer in Bend, but it’s still unclear whether a crime was committed, "There’s no reason to believe this is connected to the Hill Street homicide. And then, of course, our other homicide that happened earlier this month, the people are in custody, who are responsible for that," Miller says, "Sometimes these things go in waves, they happen one after another. And that obviously is difficult for our department, but we’re committed to ensuring the safety of our community, no matter how often these sorts of things happen."
UPDATE: (08/31/23) Bend Police say the death of a houseless woman earlier this week was not a crime. 51-year-old Jeri Lynn Davies was found lying in the road near Northeast Second and DeKalb, Monday morning. She died less than 24 hours later at the hospital. A final cause of death has still not been announced, pending a final report from the state Medical Examiner’s Office. But detectives believe there was no criminal wrongdoing.