Services How Do I...?

News Release from: Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office

Posted: Tuesday, Jan. 3-6, 2017

UPDATE: Sheriff's Office seeks tips in Merrilee Cooley homicide

Search bulletin

Please reference CCSO Case # 16-35366

UPDATE (Monday, Jan. 9, 2017) -- VICTIM ID; TIPS SOUGHT IN MERRILEE COOLEY HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION

The Medical Examiner's Office has completed its examination of the body found in the trunk of the Kia Optima.

The body has been identified as that of Merrilee Bonnie Cooley, 68, owner of the Kia Optima.

The Medical Examiner's Office has determined that the cause of death was homicide.

Detectives are now investigating this case as a homicide.

Ms. Cooley's family reported her missing under suspicious circumstances on Wednesday, Dec. 28. At approximately 9:45 p.m. on Thursday Jan. 5, 2017, Milwaukie Police officers found Cooley's missing Kia Optima in an apartment complex near SE Lark St. and SE Whitcomb Dr. in the City of Milwaukie. Her body was located in the trunk.

TIPS SOUGHT: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office detectives are seeking tips in this homicide investigation. Anyone with information on Merrilee Cooley's death or her recent whereabouts is urged to contact the Sheriff's Office Tip Line -- by phone at 503-723-4949 or by using our online form. Please reference CCSO Case # 16-35366.

UPDATE (January 6, 2017, 12:46 a.m.) -- VEHICLE, BODY LOCATED; BODY ID PENDING

At approximately 9:45 p.m. on Thursday January 5, 2017,  Clackamas County Sheriff's Office detectives learned that Milwaukie Police officers had located the missing Kia Optima belonging to Merrilee B. Cooley in an apartment complex near SE Lark St. and SE Whitcomb Dr. in the City of Milwaukie.

Detectives responded to the scene -- and located a body of an elderly female, believed to be Ms. Cooley, in the trunk of the vehicle.

Positive identification of the body is pending, and will be made by the Medical Examiner's Office.

Detectives and Crime Scene Investigators will be processing the crime scene through the night.


EARLIER (Jan. 3, 2017, 3:05 p.m.): Sheriff's Office seeks tips in search for missing endangered Merrilee Cooley

Search bulletin: Merrilee CooleyPlease reference CCSO Case # 16-35366

The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office is seeking tips as it looks for a missing endangered adult woman who disappeared on or shortly after Dec. 26.

Merrilee Bonnie Cooley, 68, was last seen on Monday, Dec. 26, 2016. Her family reported her missing under suspicious circumstances on Wednesday, Dec. 28.

Cooley's 2010 black Kia Optima (Oregon license plate 126FGC) is also missing.

Merrilee Bonnie Cooley is 68 years old. She is white, weighs 200 lbs. and stands 5'01".

A bulletin is linked above. It contains a photo of Cooley and a photo of a similar Kia Optima.

Anyone with information on Cooley's whereabouts is urged to call the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Non-Emergency Line at 503-655-8211. The public can also leave tips at 503-723-4949 or by using our online form -- please reference CCSO Case # 16-35366.

[END]

News-release archive

Contact Info:
Sergeant Brian Jensen
Office of Public Information
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office

Share this page

Clackamas County Sheriff

Sheriff Craig Roberts

Sheriff Craig Roberts

Office: (503) 785-5000
Non-Emergency: (503) 655-8211

If this is an emergency,
call 9-1-1.



Tweets by @ClackCoSheriff