Infant found dead at Oregon resort; mother sought

August 1, 2014 - 9:05 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A hotel housekeeper discovered an injured 13-year-old girl and the body of her 2-year-old sister at an inn on the Oregon Coast on Friday, and police were searching for their mother.

Cannon Beach Police Chief Jason Schermerhorn said Jessica Smith, 40, of Goldendale, Washington, is a person of interest in the case and investigators want to make sure she's safe. He asked the public to be on the lookout for a 2007 Chevrolet Suburban that's gold and has the Washington license plate, APX 3141.

"We don't know if she's OK or where she would have gone," he said.

The 13-year-old was critically cut and flown to a Portland hospital, where she underwent surgery. Her name has not been released.

The chief declined to say how the 2-year-old died.

Smith and her children checked into the Surfsand Resort on Wednesday, the chief said. The resort website says it's just steps from the iconic Haystack Rock.

There was no sign of forced entry, the chief said, and the housekeeper discovered the children at 9:40 a.m. There were no adults in the room.

Court records show Smith's husband recently filed for divorce, Portland stations KPTV and KATU-TV reported. The documents also say she was denied a restraining order against him, KATU said. The chief did not address the marital status, but said police detectives were talking to the father late Friday afternoon in Washington state. He did not label the husband a person of interest or a suspect.

Schermerhorn said investigators were still talking to guests to learn if anyone heard something. He did not say if investigators believe the violence occurred shortly before the housekeeper discovered the children or hours beforehand.

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