As the far-reaching search for Sara Gomez continued Tuesday, authorities stressed they believe her ex-boyfriend Bryan Penner acted alone.
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel has previously said he believes Penner killed Gomez. Then Tuesday, news swirled online that police have interviewed a second “suspect” in Gomez’s disappearance.
“We continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding Sara’s disappearance,” Hummel said. “I’ve used the term ‘suspect’ to describe some of the people we’ve focused on. No evidence yet that someone helped Penner kill Sara.”
Gomez was reported missing Feb. 20. But the search suffered a major setback March 12 when Penner, 31, committed suicide in the Deschutes County jail while in custody related to her disappearance.
Hummel said Tuesday no other suspect is in custody.
Bend Police Chief Jim Porter confirmed Friday that bloody ropes, blood puddles and smears of blood were found by officers when they searched Penner’s apartment. Authorities do not yet know if the blood was Gomez’s.
Police have been in contact with the family and sharing some of what they know, according to the man leading the unofficial search for Gomez, Patrick Garrett, who is engaged to Gomez’s sister. Garrett said authorities have been looking for a man who’s believed to have used Gomez’s grocery store loyalty card. The man is addicted to drugs, believed to be homeless and nicknamed “Mumbles,” Garrett said.
Garrett corrected another misconception often mentioned in the Gomez case. He said the last place Gomez was seen was not her workplace, Albertsons, as it says on missing person flyers around the area.
He said police have shown him surveillance footage that showed Gomez and Penner walking the aisles of two local convenience stores after she left work for the last time.
The actual last place Gomez was seen alive was the 7-Eleven on Greenwood Avenue in Bend, Garrett said.
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