Miranda Gaddis' Mother Speaks Out

ByABC News via logo

P O R T L A N D, Ore., Aug. 28, 2002 -- Miranda Gaddis' mom still speaks about her daughter in the present tense.

"She's a real happy kid. She loves dancing and bouncing around and always smiling.That's why we try to keep our spirits up as much as we can because she's the one that always would make you laugh and smile in the hard times if you are upset, she will come and make you smile," Michelle Duffey told ABCNEWS' Good Morning America.

Duffey learned on Sunday that Miranda was dead. The 13-year-old's remains had been in a shed behind neighbor Ward Weaver's home in Oregon City.

"I was very surprised. We still really believed she wasOK," Duffey said today on Good Morning America.

The next day, medical examiners confirmed that a second body found on Weaver's property was that of Gaddis' friend Ashley Pond, who was 12 when she disappeared.

"We are still in a lot of shock right now. It's been really hard. We've had the detectives with us a lot the last four days," Duffey said. "I've had Sharonda, my sister, with me and my family and a lot of our friends and my other kids, of course, and it's really hard to deal with."

Body Discovered

Miranda and Ashley disappeared within two months of each other — Ashley in January and Miranda in March. The two girls lived in the same Oregon City apartment complex, not far from Weaver's home.

Clackamas County District Attorney Greg Horner announced that his office would seek a grand jury indictment against Weaver, a neighbor of both girls, in their deaths.

Ashley's remains were found Sunday in a barrel beneath a cement slab Weaver poured at his home after the girls disappeared. No cause of death for either victim has yet been determined, and it is not known when they died.

Weaver has been jailed since Aug. 13 on charges that he raped the 19-year-old girlfriend of his son, Francis.

‘The Whole Thing Just Disgusts Me’

Asked whether he believed his father had killed Ashley and Gaddis, Francis Weaver told ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday: "I'm certain, yes."

"The whole thing just disgusts me. I hate to even think that I was brought to this world from a man like that," Francis Weaver said in an exclusive interview.

The younger Weaver has told authorities that his father confessed to killing his two neighbors. "He needs to be brought to justice for what he's done," Francis said.

After the alleged rape of his girlfriend, the distraught son told emergency dispatchers that his father had killed Ashley and Miranda.

Now, Francis says his father probably knew his son would call 911 and in some way wanted to be caught.

"My father probably knew that, that I was to come forward and he just did [the alleged rape] as like a grand finale to his sick scheme," Francis Weaver said.

Bodies Recently Placed?

Amid some criticism that the Weaver property should have been searched earlier in the missing persons' investigation, Charles Mathews, the FBI's special agent in charge in Oregon, defended the pace of the probe.

"We proceeded as quickly as the task force possibly could, collecting the probable cause necessary to support a search warrant for the property," Mathews told Good Morning America.

Months ago, Ward Weaver told reporters that he was the FBI's prime suspect because of his own criminal record and because his father is on death row in California for killing a woman and burying her body in his yard.

Weaver himself has a past conviction for assault with a deadly weapon.

In an exclusive interview on July 9, Weaver told Good Morning America that his family was being harassed by authorities.

"I have no problem with them looking at me as a suspect," Weaver said. "The problems are coming with what they're doing as far as questions that are being asked of my family. They're telling parents of my daughter's friends not to let their daughters spend the night, because I'm a prime suspect, and their daughter might be next."

During that interview, Weaver said authorities were welcome to search his property at any time.

Mathews said search dogs were employed on Weaver's property at that time, but there is evidence that the remains found in the shed this week were not there when the dogs searched.

"In fact, those remains were probably recently placed in the shed, and of course, the remainsdiscovered under the concrete slab were in a steel drum and also further contained," Mathews said. "So, it would be very difficult for even well-trained dogs to alert to that possibility."

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