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Mother found dead near abandoned barn, detectives say she was dumped there


Joanna Speaks (Clark County Sheriff’s Office)

A mother of three was found dead near an abandoned barn in Washington state on April 8. The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office just released the victim’s identity — 32-year-old Joanna Speaks of Oregon.

The Ridgefield Police Department was called out to the abandoned barn just before 6 p.m. after someone called reporting a “deceased body.”

In their original press release, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office said the circumstances surrounding the deceased are “under investigation” — but in their latest release published last week — they confirm Speaks’ death has been ruled a homicide.

Joanna Speaks (Clark County Sheriff’s Office)

“There are indications the body was moved to this location,” investigators said in the release. “This is being investigated as a homicide and no further details regarding the circumstances of the body are being released at this time.”

Speaks’ family created a GoFundMe to raise money for funeral expenses. Her family confirmed Speaks is a mother of three — her children 13, 12 and 7 years old.

“Our family was blindsided by a call that would break us to pieces,” the GoFundMe post says. “Our heads are still reeling and we are at a loss for words.”

Joanna Speaks (Clark County Sheriff’s Office)

In an interview with KGW8, Speaks’ stepsister said the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and neck and “that’s all we know.”

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Detectives are asking anyone with recent contact with Speaks or have any information about where she had been staying or who she had been associating with to contact them at 564-397-2847. Her family allegedly hadn’t seen her since March.

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