‘Grief unbearable’: Sarah Zuber’s family pleads for help


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Six months after Sarah Zuber was found dead in a ditch near her home in Goble, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public for help in solving the mystery of how the teenager died.

The 18-year-old was found dead off the side of Neer City Road on March 13, 2019 by her sister just feet away from her home. Sarah’s sister happened to spot her as she drove down the road, then turned around and called for help.

It wasn’t immediately clear what caused her death as her body bore no obvious physical injuries.

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Sarah Zuber in an undated photo. The 18-year-old was found dead near her home in Goble, March 13, 2019 (Columbia County Sheriff’s Office)

Investigators now believe “the incident” that led to her death happened sometime late night Tuesday or early Wednesday, March 12-13.

Despite repeated attempts, KOIN 6 News has not been able to learn the results of the autopsy that was conducted.

In a statement released Friday, the Zuber family said:

“Friday, 9/13/19, a palindrome, full moon, and six months since our beautiful Sarah Elizabeth Zuber was taken from this cruel earth. Around 12:30 in the afternoon, on March 13th, I received a hysterical phone call from Sarah’s younger sister. “Mom! Sarah is dead in the ditch!” This is a phone call no parent should ever get.

Much like the rain soaked, overcast day of March 13th, a dark cloud of uncertainty permeates our thoughts as we are left with unanswered questions about the evening of March 12th. At times the grief is unbearable, so much so that only a groan escapes my airway, and the tears flow unceasingly through the lonely night. There are times when I literally stop breathing, only realizing it the moment I expel a deep breath, my lungs in a state of paralysis until human survival takes over. I wonder if that is what it was like for Sarah. The only difference being that for some reason, she never took in that life sustaining breath. Only the exhale…then nothing.

Sarah Zuber and her mom in an undated photo released September 13, 2019 (Columbia County Sheriff’s Office)

What were her last moments? Was she alone? Scared? Or was she held, compassionately. Was it quick? Or did it take time for that final exhale?

Someone knows the answers to these questions. Please. From the depths of my heart, I forgive you. I just need to know the truth.”

Columbia County Sheriff Brian Pixley said their investigators need help from the public.

“If you have information about Sarah or the events leading up to her death, please call us immediately,” Pixley said.

Anyone with information should call the non-emergency dispatch line at 503.397.1521, or the tip line for the Columbia Enforcement Narcotics Team at 503.397.1167.

Submit a tip to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office

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