OREGON CITY, Ore. – Police don't believe there are any more bodies at the property where the remains of two missing teenagers were found, but they will check to see if the man who rented the house is linked to other disappearances, the police chief said Tuesday.
Authorities said Monday a body recovered from a barrel buried under a concrete slab in Ward Weaver's yard was that of 12-year-old Ashley Pond. The body of her friend, 13-year-old Miranda Gaddis, was found during the weekend in a backyard shed.
Weaver, 39, who has been in jail since Aug. 13 on an unrelated rape charge, has not been charged in either death and has denied any involvement in the teens' disappearances. But Greg Horner, the chief deputy district attorney in Clackamas County, said he would ask a grand jury to indict Weaver.
"We expected this," said Tim Lyons, Weaver's attorney. "We are going to await the return of the indictment and see what the charges are and proceed from there."
Investigators returned to the property on Monday with high-tech equipment and a backhoe to see if any additional evidence might have been hidden there.
However, Police Chief Gordon Huiras said Tuesday on NBC's Today that investigators had concluded their search and "we are satisfied there are no further remains on the property."
Huiras also said police are looking into whether Weaver might be connected to other disappearances.
"That'll certainly be something the investigators on the task force will continue to investigate," he said.
Huiras did not elaborate. There was no immediate response to calls to his office seeking additional comment.
Ashley's family last saw her on Jan. 9. Miranda disappeared March 8 from the same apartment complex, just a few hundred yards down the road from Weaver's home in this Portland suburb.
Some relatives said they were bothered that the bodies were found so close to the girls' apartment complex.
"I get angry because she was right there the whole time," said Terri Duffey, Miranda's aunt.
Authorities have said that they moved as fast as they could to investigate Weaver, given constitutional limits on searches.
FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele said search dogs were allowed in Weaver's back yard a few months ago.
And FBI Special Agent in Charge Charles Mathews told ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday there was evidence "the remains located in the shed had not been there at the time the dogs searched."
Weaver was arrested on Aug. 13 on charges of raping his 19-year-old son's girlfriend. His distraught son, Francis Weaver, told emergency dispatchers after the alleged rape that his father had admitted killing Ashley and Miranda.
"I'm sorry that any of this even happened," Francis Weaver said Tuesday on Good Morning America. "I hope that now that (the girls' families) have closure and everything, they can go on with their lives and live their lives as good as the can."
He would not give specifics on why he believes his father killed the girls, saying public comment could hinder prosecutors' efforts.
The younger Weaver said he would have called 911 even without the alleged rape.
"It was inevitable," Francis Weaver said. "My father probably knew that I was to come forward, and he just did that as a grand finale to his sick scheme."
Last summer, Ashley had accused Ward Weaver of molesting her, but he denied the allegations and was never charged. Family members and friends have said they had a close, and at times inappropriate, relationship.
Weaver's father, Ward Francis Weaver Jr., is on death row in California for two murders. A raped and murdered woman's body was found buried in his yard in 1982.