BEND, Ore. — Officers found bloody ropes, blood puddles and smears of blood when they searched the apartment of an ex-boyfriend of a missing Oregon woman, authorities said.

The Bend Police Department is waiting to hear back from the state crime lab on if the blood belongs to Sara Gomez, a Bend woman who was reported missing on Feb. 20, Police Chief Jim Porter said.

Porter said he doesn’t know when to expect the results.

The apartment was the home of Bryan Penner, 31, who was in police custody last month in connection with Gomez’s disappearance when he hung himself in a jail shower, The Bend Bulletin reported .

Information from Penner’s cellphone places Penner heading east out of town the night of his arrest, before the signal was lost, Porter said.

The next time his phone was located, Penner was near the same location several hours later, heading west into town, according to Porter.

Patrick Garrett, who’s engaged to marry Gomez’s sister, Elizabeth Fennell, and a half-dozen of Garrett’s “hasty searchers” are marking off places in the area to be searched by larger volunteer groups.

They’re marking roads and trails — anywhere they think Penner could have gone to dump Gomez’s body.

Garrett has agreed with a neighboring property owner to buy around $3,500 of gravel to repair the road once the search is complete.

“We’re searching further east because (detectives) told us to,” Garrett said. “And I’ve told them from day one, if we are getting in the way or contaminating your search, I will rip everybody out in a heartbeat.

“But what I think it boils down to is: they don’t have a clue where she is.”

With a massive amount of land to cover, searchers have chosen to focus on roadways.

Ninety-nine percent of killers don’t venture more than 100 yards from a road to leave a body, Garrett said.

The search isn’t spending much of the money donated by community members.

A celebration of life service for Gomez is tentatively planned to take place within the next three weeks.


Information from: The Bulletin, http://www.bendbulletin.com

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