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Fire Fatality Death Investigation - Private Property Along Highway 126W near Mapleton in Lane County

July 29, 2013

Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247

Oregon State Police (OSP) and the Lane County Medical Examiner's Office are continuing the investigation into the death of a person found Saturday night inside a fire-damaged recreational vehicle on property along Highway 126W about fifteen miles east of Florence.

On July 27, 2013 at approximately 8:28 p.m., OSP troopers responded to assist firefighters from Mapleton Fire District and Siuslaw Valley Fire & Rescue at the scene of a reported fire on property along Highway 126W near milepost 15. Two recreational vehicles parked at that location about 100 yards from the highway caught fire and were subsequently extinguished by firefighters. Closer inspection led to the discovery of human remains of one person and a dog inside one of the vehicles. Inside the other vehicle was another deceased dog.

Investigators from OSP Major Crimes Section and Arson & Explosives Section, the Office of State Fire Marshal, and Lane County Medical Examiner's Office responded to the scene to investigate the death and cause of the fire. Investigators worked through Sunday afternoon at the scene.

According to the Lane County Medical Examiner's Office, the victim is tentatively identified as PATRICIA EILENE HOWELL, age 52. She lived alone with her dogs on the property in the recreational vehicles. There were no suspicious injuries according to the medical examiner indicating her death was other than fire-related.

The fire cause investigation is ongoing. The preliminary investigation does not show any evidence it was intentionally set.

No photographs available for this release.


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