PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Details continue to unravel in the case of Haley Lorenzen, the young Gresham woman who police say was murdered in Pennsylvania.
The body of the 24-year-old was recovered from the Susquehanna River last weekend after a 7 month search KOIN sister station WBRE reported. Her ex-boyfriend, Phillip Walters, was charged with her murder earlier this year, accused of beating her to death with a hammer.
Lorenzen met Walters, 32, online and moved from Oregon to Wyoming County, Pennsylvania to live with him. Investigators believe Walters murdered Lorenzen on December 30, 2018, tied rocks to her body and threw her off the Falls Bridge into the Susquehanna River in Wyoming County in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Walters reported her missing the next day.
His ex-girlfriend told investigators she saw Lorenzen’s body in the house, got scared and helped Walters dump her body into the river. Hundreds of first responders and volunteers searched the river for months, often in frigid temperatures.
The break in the case came July 20 when a body was recovered from the river. This week authorities confirmed it was Haley Lorenzen.
The announcement was made by Wyoming County (Pennsylvania) DA Jeff Mitchell.
“After almost 7 months, Haley Maree Lorenzen has been found,” WBRE reported. “When she was found, Haley had clothing that matched what she was last seen wearing in December of last year.”
“I think the general consensus was we are all relieved,” Tunkhannock Township Police Chief Ed Morristell told KOIN sister station WBRE. “We reached the end goal, which was to find Haley. That’s always been an issue to locate her and get her with her loved ones back in Oregon, where she belongs.”
The tragic case brought the community together.
“Despite living in Pennsylvania for a short time, Haley has left an indelible mark on our community,” DA Mitchell said. “She shall not be forgotten. May she always live in our hearts and our memories. May God bless Haley and her family.”
Detective Dave Ide said finding her body was “actually bittersweet. We are glad that she’s found but we have a ways to go yet.”
KOIN 6 News was told her family members are now in Pennsylvania.
Walters remains in jail. He maintains his innocence and is scheduled to go on trial in September.
KOIN 6 News reporter Amy Frazier contributed to this report