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Update: Death Investigation Turns into Homicide Investigation - Highway 101 / Thomas Creek Bridge
07/24/2008
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247
 
Commander Bill Steven
Del Norte County Sheriff's Office
Office: (707) 464-4191 ext. 227

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The identity of the deceased female found Wednesday at the base of Thomas Creek Bridge on Highway 101 between Brookings and Gold Beach has been positively identified as a missing woman from Del Norte County, California. The investigation is being treated as a homicide and Curry County Major Crime Team investigators are working with Del Norte County Sheriff Office detectives in this case.
 
MICHELLE ASHLEY DICKSON, age 23, was reported missing to Del Norte County Sheriff's Office after being last seen July 15th. Her burned out Honda Civic was found Wednesday, July 16th, off Highway 101 near Crescent City.
 
On July 23, 2008 at approximately 8:00 p.m., Oregon State Police (OSP) and Curry County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of two hikers finding a body at the base of the bridge in Thomas Creek. Upon arrival, the report was confirmed and additional police personnel were requested.
 
In conjunction with the Curry County District Attorney's Office, OSP detectives are leading the investigation as part of the Curry County Major Crime Team that also includes officers from Curry County Sheriff's Office and Brookings Police Department. Investigators remained on scene overnight and are continuing the investigation Thursday. Additional assistance is being provided by the OSP Forensic Services Division and California Department of Justice.
 
An autopsy by the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office is pending to confirm the manner and cause of death.
 
Questions regarding the Del Norte County Sheriff's Office missing person investigation should be directed to Commander Bill Steven at (707) 464-4191 ext. 227.
 
Anyone with information regarding the Oregon investigation is asked to call OSP Southern Communications Center at (541) 776-6111.
 
According to Oregon Department of Transportation's "Oregon Coastal Highway Bridges" website, the Thomas Creek Bridge is the "structure is the highest bridge in Oregon at 345 feet and spans a deep ravine on the Oregon Coast".