Clues to Portland woman's mysterious disappearance surface in Lane County

Demi Helenius (Photo courtesy of family)

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Clues in Lane County continued to surface Monday about a missing woman out of Portland.

23-year-old Demi Helenius was last seen at a self-help conference in Portland over the weekend.

Since her disappearance, her cell phone turned up in Creswell. Her car was found in the Cottage Grove area.

Phone found in Creswell

Dairy Queen employees in Creswell say a white male went through the drive-through and, when he pulled up to the window, handed them a phone and said he found it on the side of the road.

Washington County Sheriff's detectives say they talked to the man who told them he found the phone in a nearby parking lot after seeing someone throw an object from a car.

Dairy Queen general manager Samantha Lyn-Metz said the supervisor on shift Saturday night was counting her tills down when that phone rang.

The phone - which belonged to Helenius - was more than 100 miles away from where she was supposed to be.

"I found out it was the brother of the missing individual, and he was looking for her, didn't know anything about where Creswell was or why [her phone] would be down here," said Lyn-Metz.

Car found in Cottage Grove

Two days later, Terry Fenn noticed a suspicious vehicle in Cottage Grove.

"This car has been there for like two days," she said, "thought they were just visiting the park because we're not allowed to park in the park. Today, as I left, I noticed it was still there. I came back at lunch and the forensics was there."

It was Helenius' 2013 Volkswagen Bug, found behind a Cottage Grove gas station nine miles away from the Dairy Queen in Creswell.

"There must have been three or four cop cars and, like I said, the forensic van they had out," Fenn said. "You couldn't really see too much of anything else, other than it was a black VW Bug, I think is what it was."

Investigators are looking for leads, trying to connect the dots to find Helenius.

After examining her car at the scene, the sheriff's office said they found no signs of foul play, but they say they will examine the car more closely at the Oregon State Police crime lab.

The investigation is ongoing.

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