Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868

Dec. 31 BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Body identified as Independence man

PEDEE -- The Polk County Major Crime Team, assisted by members of the Oregon State Police, are continuing their investigation into the death of a 29-year-old male found Sunday evening in a wooded area near Pedee in southern Polk County.

December 31, 2013

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Body identified as Independence man

PEDEE -- The Polk County Major Crime Team, assisted by members of the Oregon State Police, are continuing their investigation into the death of a 29-year-old male found Sunday evening in a wooded area near Pedee in southern Polk County.

This remains an ongoing investigation with suspicious circumstances.

An autopsy is planned for New Year's Day in Portland.

The body has been identified as James Watson Hawkes IV, 29, of Independence. Next of kin live out of state and have been notified by authorities in Florida and Virginia.

Hawkes was booked into the Polk County Jail on Nov. 21 for failure to appear for possession of methamphetamine.

"Due to the body being found in a wooded area and partially clothed, we are treating this as suspicious at this time," said Polk County Sheriff Bob Wolfe.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office was contacted by a male citizen who located what appeared to be a male body in a wooded area near Womer Road and Kings Valley Highway. When deputies arrived they confirmed a male was deceased at the location and secured the area.

Based on the ongoing investigation, limited information is being released to the public at this time.