PORTLAND, Oregon - Dozens of searchers combed Rocky Butte today, looking for the body of a 14-year-old girl.
Police believe Yashanee Vaughn was killed by her 16-year-old boyfriend, Parrish Bennette, who was arrested Thursday after lab results indicated he was responsible for her death. Bennette was charged with manslaughter yedterday and a grand jury could hear his case next week.
On Thursday, March 31, 2011, at 12:58 p.m., Portland Police Detectives arrested 16-year-old Parrish Bennett in connection with the disappearance of 14-year-old Yashanee Vaughn, who was reported missing on March 21, 2011. Bennett has been charged with One Count of Murder and is currently lodged in the Multnomah County Juvenile Detention Center. Preliminary evidence suggests Yashanee was killed on March 19, 2011.
On Monday, March 21, 2011, at 10:17 p.m., Shaquita Louis called police to report her daughter, Yashanee 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 Yashanee 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 Yashanee 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.
Photo 1: 14-year-old Yashanee Vaughn