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Deceased couple’s death is ruled a homicide

Talladega was found with the deceased couple, and is now with their relatives. (Photo via Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office)

MT. HOOD NATIONAL FOREST, Oregon – The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office reports that two bodies found Monday died due to homicide. They are identified as Stacy Jean Rickerd, 42, and Jeremy David Merchant, 43, both of Estacada.

Sgt. Marcus Mendoza said the deaths were not, as has been speculated, the result of a murder suicide. The bodies were found around a shooting pit off 4615 Road and the 130 Spur. The scene surrounding the shooting pit is now processed and cleared by investigators.

A dog that was found unharmed at the scene has been identified. Initially he evaded officers. Deputies and investigators flew the CSI team’s drone nearby to distract the dog, allowing them to slip a catch pole around his neck. The dog, identified as Talladega, was described by one of the deputies as “a sweet dog,” according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. Initially, Talladega was transferred to Clackamas County Dog Services, but he has since been placed with family members of the deceased.

The sheriff’s office is asking for anyone with any information to call its tip line at 503-723-4949. Callers should reference CCSO Case No. 19-018794.

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