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Rainier woman presumed dead

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RAINIER — After nearly two years, Oregon State Police believe that a woman who disappeared from her Rainier home is probably dead.

"All indications are that it appears Teresa Davidson has most likely met with foul play," said Detective Jeff Hershman of the OSP. "She left behind a sizable amount of money in her bank account. She had a house that she owned that she let foreclose since the time she disappeared, and most significantly, she had two children she's had no contact with since the time she disappeared. She's been described as an extremely devoted mother who would never leave her children."

Some family members aren't so sure. Doyle Slape of Rainier, grandfather of the missing woman's husband, Richard Murphy, said Davidson told him about a year she spent in Big Bear, Calif.

"She told me it was really good being there," Doyle said. "Her (then) 11-year old daughter said she didn't know where she (Davidson) was during that time."

Hershman said he had been unable to confirm that Davidson had ever been missing before.

Doyle said he believes she "met someone" who is taking care of her financially and that she had cash with her.

"She made a lot of long distance calls to her brother in Portland in the month (before she disappeared)," Doyle said, who rented Murphy and Davidson their home in Rainier.

Although agencies all over the Northwest have been re-examining missing-women cases to see if suspected serial killer Michael Braae is involved, Hershman said he does not consider Braae a person of interest in this case.

"No, not at this point," he said. "That name has never come up."

Davidson, who also used the name Davidson-Murphy, was last seen Oct. 7, 1999. She saw her husband, Richard Murphy, before he went on a camping trip for the weekend, then dropped her younger daughter off at a relative's house in Rainier. Her older daughter was living with her father in Klamath Falls, Ore., at the time.

She did not take any personal belongings and left her pickup at her house with the keys in the ignition, according to the OSP. Both her daughters, 15 and 18, now live with their father.

Known familiarly as "Teri," she formerly lived in Puyallup and Lacey, Wash. Detectives checked with her friends there, but no one had heard from her.

"At the time of her disappearance, it was reported that a handgun was also missing," Hershman said. "Investigators would like information on who has knowledge of this handgun."

The gun is a 1991 Colt 1911 A1 .45 caliber, serial number 2757178.

Hershman said her husband is not considered a suspect, but his camping trip has not been corroborated by witnesses.

At the time of her disappearance, Davidson was 34 years old, 6 feet tall and 130 pounds, with long brown hair and blue eyes.

Hershman would like anyone with information about Teresa Davidson, the missing gun, or Richard Murphy's whereabouts on Oct. 7, 1999, to call him at (503) 731-3020, ext. 264.

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