By News-Register staff • 

Suspicious deaths investigated in rural Sheridan


Two adults were found dead Monday, May 30, on a piece of rural Sheridan property in the 11000 block of Southwest Dupee Valley Road, according to the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office only released information regarding the deaths on Wednesday, June 8, due to what spokesperson Sgt. Sam Elliott characterized as “investigative and notification processes,” and there being no threat to the Sheridan community. The victims’ next-of-kin do not reside in Oregon.

They were identified as Prentis “Rusty” Hale III, 80 and Karen Hansen-Pieri, 60.  They died of gunshot wounds.

Elliott gave this account of the discovery:

About 7:30 p.m. on the May date, deputies responded to a call at the Dupee Valley Road residence that is located on a piece of large property.

A caller to the Yamhill Communications Agency 911 dispatch center reported responding to the residence to check on animals and discovered the individuals who were dead.

Deputies confirmed they were deceased inside the home and there was evidence indicating the deaths were suspicious.

Special Investigations Unit detectives responded to the location and conducted a further investigation. Evidence was collected, processed and some evidence is still being examined at the Oregon State Police Forensic Lab.

It’s believed the subjects died as the result of a domestic violence incident, but that has not been confirmed.

They had lived together at the residence for the past five years. Hale has lived on the property about 25 years.

Deputies had only responded to the residence once before, in 2020, and the call was non-criminal in nature.

Anyone with relevant information about the couple or the case is asked to contact Detective Sgt. Todd Whitlow at

A gofundme campaign has been organized to support Hansen’s daughters, Anna and Allegra Pieri.

“These funds will help to cover travel costs, animal care, memorial costs, mental health support, bills and other miscellaneous costs that arise,” according to the gofundme posting. “Everyone that knew and loved Karen knows that she was one of the most lively, generous and kindhearted people to touch this earth. She was passionate about those she loved and would do anything to support them.”

The posting makes no mention of any funds benefitting Hale.

The goal of raising $28,000 has almost been achieved with the help of more than 150 donations. The gofundme page can be accessed at







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