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Columbia County sheriff's deputies located deceased female during welfare check

COLUMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - CCSO responded to a home on Smith Road to conduct a welfare check but found a deceased woman.The Columbia County Sheriff's Office is investigating the "suspicious death" of a female found this week.

Deputies were dispatched to a welfare check Monday, Jan. 18, near Smith Road and Dart Creek Road outside St. Helens.

According to Sheriff Brian Pixley, a concerned individual had called to request a welfare check for their neighbor after noticing that the front door had been open for hours.

"When Deputies arrived on scene, they searched the home and the surrounding property where they located a body that was later identified as the homeowner, Stacey Marie Erpelding," Pixley wrote in a press release.

Deputies called for medics and began rendering aid. When medics arrived, they determined the woman was deceased.

The Columbia County Major Crimes Team was called to investigate.  On Tuesday, Jan. 19, the Oregon State Police Crime Lab responded to assist with the investigation, which is still underway. 

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