A 16-year-old special needs girl and her mother have been found dead in a suspected suicide after going missing from a camping trip.
Gabrielle, who had Down syndrome, and Dawna Roe, 51, of Caldwell, Idaho, were believed to have been shot and killed in a car at a ranch near Drewsey, Oregon.
The couple were found in a remote location in a 2004 Toyota minivan by horrified local workers.
The mother and daughter went missing on June 30 after telling friends and family they were going camping.
Dawna had quit her job and was reportedly being investigated by the CPS when they took off.
Authorities had been frantically searching for the couple for the past week following their trip – which relatives described as “uncharacteristic” – but found only their bodies.
Gabrielle, who had Down syndrome, and Dawna Roe, 51, of Caldwell, Idaho, were believed to have been shot and killed in a car at a ranch near Drewsey, Oregon
The mother and daughter went missing on June 30 after telling friends and family they were going camping
The couple were found in a remote location in a 2004 Toyota minivan by horrified local workers
“Preliminary information indicates this appears to have been a gunshot suicide homicide,” Caldwell Police Chief Rex Ingram told KTVB.
The Grant County Sheriff’s Office said, “No other individuals are currently being sought.” Autopsy and toxicology reports are pending.
Daughter Rebekah Roe said before the news of her death: “My youngest sister is 17 years old, she has Down syndrome, she is 6-7 years old mentally. My mother has serious mental problems.
“My mom was evaluated by CPS and decided to pack herself and my sister for a ‘camping trip’ after she suddenly quit her job. She didn’t bring her SSI cards.
The bodies of Dawna Roe, 51, center, and her 16-year-old daughter Gabby, seen far left and right, were found in Dawna’s vehicle near the town of Drewsey, Oregon
Dawna Roe’s daughter said her mother has struggled with mental illness her entire life
Gabrielle Roe is said to have suffered from Down syndrome
“She doesn’t have any camping gear that I know of. She has threatened in the past to harm my sister and then herself.
“No one has heard from them for a week. I believe my sister is in serious danger.” Another daughter, Mariah Villesca, wrote: “Gabby has a real and pure soul.
“She always radiated infectious joy wherever she went and everyone who met our girl will forever remember her tangible and unfiltered love.
“My mother struggled with and eventually succumbed to mental illness and Gabby was also a victim of this illness.
“I’ll just miss that. I will miss her smile, her laugh, her pure, unfiltered love,” added Villesca.
Sister Mariah Villesca holds her Gabby in a Facebook photo from her page from years ago
“My mum loved Gabby, she absolutely did. My mother had six children and Gabrielle was the favourite.
“So many people thought it would never happen because my mum loved Gabby so much. So many people weren’t listening to how serious things were.
“If someone is ill, you know, they can appear in their right mind. You don’t know what’s going on in their heads,’ she explained.
“Gabrielle, we’ll call her Gabby. She was cheeky. She was smart. She was funny. She had the purest of hearts,’ Villesca said in homage to her sister.
A GoFundMe was set up to raise money for funeral expenses and has managed to raise $11,000 so far.
For confidential assistance, call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255