Mother of 9-year-old girl whose body was found stuffed in duffel bag in Oregon, was charged with murder.




  • In US
  • 2021-12-02 21:23:04Z
  • By NBC News
 

The body of a 9-year-old girl found in a duffle bag in the woods in Oregon last year was identified and two women, including the child's mother, were arrested and charged with murder, officials said.

Shawna Browning, 29, and her "significant other" Lauren Harrison, 34, were arrested in Detroit on Tuesday and each face a charge of aggravated murder, according to a Wednesday statement from Oregon State Police.

On Dec. 10, a pedestrian found the girl's decomposing body "concealed inside a duffle bag" in the forest near a rest stop along the H.B. Van Duzer Scenic Corridor in Lincoln County, police said.

The unidentified child appeared to be dead between one and two months, police said.

The girl was identified as Haley Mae Coblentz, police also said Wednesday. The child was identified, police said, by a specialty DNA laboratory who positively identified her on Oct. 4.

"Haley was born in Colorado. She was living with her biological mother and mother's girlfriend in multiple places in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest since 2015," police said in the statement. "She was not reported as a missing person at the time of her death."

Oregon State Police Capt. Stephanie Bigman told NBC affiliate KGW in Portland, 150 tips about the girl's identity didn't crack the case. The fact the girl wasn't reported missing complicated matters, she said.

"Children don't have a lot of history in the world," Bigman told the news outlet. "They don't necessarily have a big stamp. She was not on any database. Nobody knew that she was missing."

Browning and Harrison were found by investigators in Detroit where they were arrested, police said. Investigators also served a search warrant on their vehicle and hotel room, police said.

It was not immediately clear Thursday if Browning and Harrison were represented by attorneys. They were being held without bail in detention facilities in Wayne County, Michigan, police said.

The evidence authorities have against Browning and Harrison was not clear Thursday.

Haley Mae Coblentz.
Haley Mae Coblentz.  

Their arrest warrants were sealed and will not be released, a spokesperson with the Oregon State Police said Thursday over email. The homicide suspects were expected to be extradited to Oregon, but the timeline as to when that might happen was not available, the police spokesperson said.

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