Prison for hotel fire — A woman who started a fire that killed four people at a coastal Oregon motel has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison after pleading guilty to criminally negligent homicide. Rebecca Sinclair, 39, of Toledo, also pleaded guilty to reckless burning and recklessly endangering another person. Charges of second-degree manslaughter were dropped in Tuesday’s plea agreement, court records show. Newport Police Chief Jason Malloy said Wednesday that fire investigators determined that Sinclair dropped a lit cigarette on her bed while staying at Newport’s City Center Motel on Aug. 5, 2016. He said the fire eventually spread beyond the bed and then raged into other rooms when Sinclair opened her door to seek help.
Bodies found — Police searching for a 15-year-old runaway girl found two bodies Wednesday off a trail in a forested park in Portland but said they could not release the identities of the dead until autopsies were complete. The gruesome discovery came during the second week of an extensive search for Annieka Vaughan, an Aloha teenager who authorities say ran away with Zachary Petersen on Oct. 30. Petersen, 23, was under investigation for sex abuse in a Washington state case that named Vaughan as the alleged victim, said Portland police Sgt. Chris Burley. Petersen, of Pasco, Washington, called a crisis hotline before vanishing on the same day Annieka ran away, authorities have said. He was believed to be armed and suicidal. The unidentified bodies were found by a cadaver-sniffing search dog tucked behind a tree stump about 80 feet off a trail in Forest Park, said Detective Robert Rookhuyzen of the Washington County Sheriff’s Department. Petersen’s abandoned white pickup truck was found Monday in a nearby gravel lot and Annieka’s backpack was inside.
Cadaver company — FBI investigators have seized records from a cadaver procurement company in Portland. Federal agents served a search warrant at MedCure on Nov. 1. No charges have been filed against MedCure. FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele wouldn’t say what investigators were looking for. Jeffrey Edelson, a Portland lawyer who represents the company, says MedCure is fully cooperating with the FBI. MedCure calls itself a “tissue bank that connects whole-body donors to medical researchers and medical education facilities.” It solicits cadavers from people who want to donate their body to science and from families who have had a loved one die. The company claims to have 82,000 registered donors. It provides bodies and organs to researchers and schools.