Ore. Suspect’s Father on Death Row
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OREGON CITY, Ore. (AP) _ Two decades before investigators found human remains hidden behind the home of Ward Weaver, the body of a raped and murdered woman was found buried in his father’s yard.
Weaver’s father, Ward Francis Weaver Jr., is now on death row in California for two murders.
The truck driver was convicted of killing a man whose car had broken down and for kidnapping, raping and murdering the man’s girlfriend, 23-year-old Barbara Levoy. Her body was found in 1982 buried beneath a deck at his home in Oroville, Calif.
The prosecutor in that case, Ron Shumaker, said the elder Weaver’s truck route also matched up with 26 unsolved hitchhiker homicides but he was never charged with any of the other crimes, The Oregonian reported Sunday.
For Barbara Levoy’s brother, Bob Levoy, the search at the younger Weaver’s home is raising bad memories.
``It’s like it’s all happening all over again,″ Levoy of Lebanon, Mo., told KPTV in Portland. ``And I know how the parents of those girls are feeling. I’m glad they’ve finally started to do some digging.″
The body of one of the missing Oregon girls _ 13-year-old Miranda Gaddis _ was found by investigators in a shed behind Weaver’s rented home on Saturday.
A second set of human remains were found on Sunday in a barrel buried beneath a cement slab poured by Weaver after the disappearance of the two girls this past winter.
Investigators have not yet said whether that body belongs to the second girl _ 13-year-old Ashley Pond. Both girls lived in an apartment complex near Weaver’s home and knew his daughter.
Weaver, who has described himself as a suspect in Ashley and Miranda’s disappearance but has denied any involvement, has been jailed since Aug. 13 on an unrelated charge of raping the girlfriend of his 19-year-old son. The son called 9-1-1 after the alleged rape and said his father had killed the two missing girls.
The younger Weaver has a record of brushes with the law. In the 1980s he served three years in a California prison for beating a baby sitter with a block of concrete and for credit card forgery.
One of his two wives, Maria, accused him of threatening to have her shot in 1993 and obtained a restraining order against him, according to The Portland Tribune. They divorced two years later.
A future wife, Kristi Sloan, accused him in 1995 of hitting her over the head with a cast-iron skillet as she slept. The assault charge was dismissed because of evidentiary problems with police seizure of the skillet. Weaver and Sloan married in 1996 but were divorced four years later.
Weaver has admitted in interviews that he had a close relationship with one of the missing girls, Ashley. He told The Associated Press last month that he took her along with his daughter and his girlfriend on a vacation trip to California last year.
During the trip, he said, they stopped at San Quentin Prison to visit his father, on Death Row.