Real Names: Miranda Diane Gaddis and Ashley Marie Pond
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Oregon City, Oregon
Date: January 9, 2002 (Ashley) / March 8, 2002 (Miranda)
Date of Birth: November 18, 1988 (Miranda), March 1 1989 (Ashley)
Marital Status: Single
Details: Lori Pond and her twelve-year-old daughter Ashley lived in the Newell Creek Village Apartments in Oregon City, Oregon. On January 9, 2002, Ashley was running late to school; it was a little after 8AM and the bus was just minutes away. The walk up the hill to the bus stop was less than ten minutes. She was a popular student who was a member of both the swimming and dance teams. On that day, she was looking forward to dance practice after school. Lori expected to hear from her at around 6:15PM, but when she didn't, she became worried and called the school. She found out that she had not been there that day.
Lori called the police and reported her daughter missing. She told them that none of Ashley's clothes or belongings were missing and that she did not believe Ashley ran away. Authorities agreed, and believed that Ashley was likely abducted. Detectives learned from Ashley's classmates that she never got on the bus. They canvassed the neighborhood and surrounding woods, searched Ashley's internet activity, ran a background check on her father, and found no leads despite assistance from the FBI.
Meanwhile, thirteen-year-old Miranda Gaddis, Ashley's neighbor, dance teammate and close friend, found herself in the center of the investigation. On March 8, 2002, Miranda's mom, Michelle Duffey, left for work at 7:30AM. Authorities believe that Miranda left at around 8AM and went up the hill to the bus stop. At around 1:20PM, Miranda's older sister called their mom to tell her that Miranda had not been at school that day. Ms. Duffey called the school and found out that Miranda was indeed absent.
She reported her missing and the FBI was again called in to investigate. The circumstances surrounding Miranda's disappearance and presumed abduction were eerily similar to Ashley's two months earlier. There was also a striking resemblance between the girls. Both had similar facial features, height, weight, both had brown eyes, and went up the same hill to the same bus stop.
Authorities believe that a stranger may have abducted them while on their way there. However, without an apparent crime scene or physical evidence, authorities began to investigate the possibility that they were taken by someone that they knew. Since the disappearances, students are picked up from their homes instead of from bus stops. However, the residents of the Newell Creek Apartment Complex, along with the rest of Oregon City, are still on edge. They are terrified that a child abductor and possible serial killer walks among them. The girls' parents hope that they will be found one day.
Suspects: None known; authorities are not sure if the girls were abducted by someone they knew, or a stranger. The girls' mothers do not believe that they would have gone with a stranger, so they believe that they were abducted by someone they knew and trusted.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the September 20, 2002 episode. The girl's disappearances was also profiled on America’s Most Wanted during the investigation and documented on Evil Kin after the case was resolved. This was the final case to be profiled on the original series with Robert Stack.
Results: Solved. On Saturday, August 24, 2002, human remains were found in a shed behind the rented home of thirty-nine-year-old Ward Weaver who lived down the street from the Newell Creek Apartment Complex. An autopsy confirmed that they were Miranda's. Two days later, a second set of remains were located in a barrel under a suspicious concrete slab. They were identified as Ashley's the following Sunday.
Weaver was first arrested on an unrelated rape charge; the victim was his son's girlfriend. His son had called 911 about his girlfriend, but also told dispatchers that his father had killed the girls. Authorities discovered that Ashley was a friend of Weaver's daughter. A year before the disappearances, Ashley had accused him of molesting her. He was eventually charged with the murders. He later confessed to the rape and murder of the two girls, pleaded guilty, and is now serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Interestingly, both Weaver's father and stepson are also convicted murderers.
- Miranda and Ashley on Unsolved Archive
- Ward Weaver on Wikipedia
- Man Angry About Missing Girls Probe
- Girl's Remains Are Identified, 2nd Set Is Found
- Autopsy conducted on body found at Ore. home
- (2002 People Magazine Article) Heartbreak in Oregon
- Step By Step In Oregon Killer Case
- Could Murders Have Been Prevented?
- Miranda Gaddis' Mother Speaks Out
- 10 years later, woman sheds light on why sister killed by Ward Weaver
- Ashley Pond at Find a Grave
- Miranda Gaddis at Find a Grave