Today marks the five-year anniversary of Stephanie Warner’s disappearance.
Warner, of Ruch, was last seen in Ashland during the 4th of July celebration in 2013. At the time, friends, family, and her boyfriend, Lennie Ames, told police it was not in her character to go missing.
A few days after her disappearance, sheriff deputies from Jackson County found Warner’s home and animals had been abandoned. They also learned that Ames was the last person to see Warner on July 4.
When detectives interviewed Ames, he told them that Warner had dropped him at the Ruch Country Store on July 4. He later got a ride to his camp on BLM land. The following day he said he returned to Warner’s house, borrowed her car to go to a market in Williams, and then returned her car to her house. He told detectives she was not home that day.
Ames returned to his camp and stayed there for several days, and never reported Warner as missing.
On July 2, 2018, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department issued the following statement regarding the disappearance.
Over the last two years, detectives from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office have continued investigating the disappearance of Stephanie Warner. Warner was last seen on July 4, 2013, at the Fourth of July Parade in Ashland.
A few days later, deputies found Warner’s home, including her animals, had been abandoned. Friends, family, and even her boyfriend at the time, Lennie Ames, told investigators it was not in Warner’s character to leave without a trace; Warner was devoted to her animals and to volunteering in our community.
Investigators learned Lennie Ames was the last person to see Warner on the evening of July 4. Ames told detectives that Warner dropped him off at the Ruch Country Store, and then he got a ride to his camp on BLM land. He claimed someone gave him a ride back to Warner’s residence on July 5, but she was not home. He said he drove her green Nissan Xterra to a market in Williams, and then returned the vehicle to her driveway. On July 5, friends took Ames to his camp, where he stayed for several days. He did not report Warner missing.
Based on physical evidence collected during the investigation, as well as inconsistencies in Ames’ statements, detectives believe Warner is deceased. Detectives have identified Ames as the only suspect in the case. Ames is not cooperative with law enforcement at this time. Detectives believe Ames knows the location of Warner’s remains, but will not disclose that information.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has remained vigilant in locating Warner. Many searches have been organized in an effort to find Warner and evidence surrounding her disappearance. Areas that have been searched include her residence, Applegate Lake, mining claims in Jackson and Josephine counties, and Ames’ camp on BLM land. Searches will continue in the upcoming months.
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