The Union County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a suspected homicide of a 62-year-old Cove woman.
Loretta Williams called 911 to report a man in her backyard at approximately 1:40 a.m. Saturday. The dispatchers heard her confront the man and then heard a loud noise.
Deputies and troopers arrived within minutes and found Williams dead of one or more apparent gunshot wounds.
This morning, Union County Sheriff Boyd Rasmussen said when Williams was talking to dispatchers she told them “she might know who it was.”
“We’re still analyzing the facts surrounding this case,” said Rasmussen, who stressed this is an ongoing investigation of a sensitive nature.
The Observer asked whether dispatchers had instructed Williams not to confront the man, but Rasmussen said he could not recall.
The investigators said there is no threat to the public.
“She was specifically targeted,” Rasmussen said. “There is no threat to the public by the potential suspects.”
Williams lived alone on the outskirts of Cove but does have family in the area.
This case is being investigated as an apparent homicide. Detectives are interviewing several persons of interest, but no one is currently in custody.
UCSO Capt. Craig Ward told The Observer Saturday morning investigators were trying to obtain a search warrant for Williams’ home.
By Monday morning, investigators received the search warrant. Oregon State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are helping to analyze the evidence collected at the scene.
Rasmussen said they will be providing as many updates as possible but the investigation is slow moving.
“We have significant resources working on this,” he said. “We are putting as many resources as we can to get someone charged.”
The UCSO is also being assisted by the La Grande Police and the Union County District Attorney’s Office.