"She's now the missing piece of our family that completed us," the woman's stepsister said.
The body of a missing Oregon woman was found this month outside an abandoned barn in Washington. According to authorities, her body appeared to have been moved there and her death is being investigated as a homicide. Joanna Speaks, 32, died from blunt force trauma to the head and neck. According to a GoFundMe she is survived by her "three children, her parents/step-parents, three biological siblings, four step-siblings, three nieces, and one nephew." Telling her children, including a 7-year-old girl and two teen boys the news of her death, "was one of the most difficult and heart-wrenching things we've ever had to do," it stated.
Missing Ore. Mom of 3 Found Dead Outside of an Abandoned Barn: 'It Just Doesn't Make Sense' https://t.co/LD2ngSphmk— People (@people) April 24, 2023
The family is still reeling from the shock of the tragic news. "It just doesn't make sense," her sister Robyn Speaks told KGW-TV. "It keeps me up at night thinking that whoever did this to her, blunt force trauma to the head and neck, I mean that is violent, and that person is walking around," Ariel Hamby, Speaks' stepsister, added. "You can definitely tell [the children are] sad," said Hamby. "They've broken down the first couple of days, but now it's like they're trying to avoid talking about it." The family was last in contact with Speaks in March. She was found dead near 8004 S. 5th St. in Ridgefield around 6 p.m. on April 8.
A woman found dead near an abandoned barn in Clark County, Washington earlier this month has been identified as a 32-year-old from Oregon.https://t.co/P7rcXGVohf— KOMO News (@komonews) April 18, 2023
So far, a suspect has not been identified and it is unclear what the motive behind the murder is. The Clark County Sheriff's Office is seeking information from anyone aware of "any suspicious people or vehicles at or near" where Speaks' body was found. "If you have recent contact with Joanna Speaks or have information about where she has been staying or who she has been associating with, please contact detectives," it added, per NBC News.
https://t.co/blyTUfX8RA - Detectives requesting public assistance in Ridgefield death investigation (Photo)— Clark Co Wa. Sheriff (@ClarkCoSheriff) April 18, 2023
"We're all just asking every single thing you could think of — like maybe it was this?" said Hamby. "Did we check here? We're trying to cover all the bases, but we don't know. The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and neck, and that's all we know." As the family heals they are focussing on the joyful moments they shared with Speaks. "We have amazing memories with her. She was a big kid. She was hilarious, sarcastic, and super witty," said Hamby. "She's now the missing piece of our family that completed us. And we'll never forget her and we will never let our kids forget her."
Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to contact the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit tip line at 564-397-2847.
Cover Image Source: YouTube | NBC News