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Law enforcement still investigating sudden death of 18-year-old in March 2019

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Community members gathered in Rainier in March for a vigil after the unexpected death of 18-year-old Sarah Zuber. Attendees released red ballons, the same color as the hat Zuber wore frequently.Nearly nine months after the death of 18-year-old Sarah Zuber, little information has been released to the public about the ensuing investigation.

Zuber's body was found by a family member on the side of Neer City Road in Rainier on March 13. Her body bore no obvious injuries.

"We are still following up on leads as they come in," Sheriff Brian Pixley said last week.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office has not released any cause of death or determined if the death was accidental or a homicide.

"Before we get to a point where we're confident to say either it was natural causes or it was criminal intention or whatever, we don't want to release any details of the case because that could actually skew the investigation," Pixley said.COURTESY OF THE ZUBER FAMILY - Sarah Zuber

At times, law enforcement will release more details about deaths in hopes of reaching someone with information.

"In this instance, I think we've released anything that could be pertinent enough to get that," Pixley said.

The investigation is led by David Peabody, who has been with the Sheriff's Office for more than 20 years. The Sheriff's Office is working in conjunction with Oregon State Police and the Columbia County Major Crimes Team.

District Attorney Jeff Auxier has been in contact with Zuber's mother, Pixley said.

In September, Zuber's father, Randy Pixley, told the Spotlight his family had received little information from law enforcement over the months.

"It's just confusing. I didn't know that this is how it was going to work," Randy Zuber said.

In a statement released through the Sheriff's Office on the six-month anniversary of Zuber's death, her family pleaded for information.

"What were her last moments? Was she alone? Scared? Or was she held, compassionately. Was it quick? Or did it take time for that final exhale?"

"Someone knows the answers to these questions. Please. From the depths of my heart, I forgive you. I just need to know the truth."


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