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Search for missing Portland woman continues; car and phone found in Lane County

Demi Helenius was reported missing on Sunday, August 6, 2017. Photo courtesy Washington County Sheriff's Office

PORTLAND, Ore. – The search continues Tuesday for a woman who was last seen near the Portland International Airport over the weekend.

Demi Helenius, 23, attended the Landmark Worldwide Forum at the Embassy Suites Hotel near PDX on Saturday night, her family told investigators.

Demi lives with her mom, who said her daughter is usually good about calling and texting when she leaves somewhere. The conference ended at 10 p.m., and when Demi Helenius didn’t return home or call or text by 11 p.m., her mother began to worry.

Her family searched for Demi's car at the hotel where the conference was held.

"And her car was not to be found there. So, we believe that she was in her car -- by herself or not, we don't know," said Melody Helenius, Demi's mother.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office said there are some strange circumstances in the missing persons case. Helenius’ phone was given to a worker at Dairy Queen in Creswell, Ore. Saturday night by a man passing through the drive through.

“If she had her phone, I wouldn’t be so worried, you know? We could contact her, be in touch. But now that it’s been two nights and we haven’t been in contact with her, that – or any of our family – that is worrisome,” Melody Helenius said.

The sheriff’s office said they talked to the man who dropped off the phone. He said he found the phone in a nearby parking lot after seeing someone throw an object from a car.

Around 5 p.m. Monday, Demi's black 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Fender Edition was found behind a gas station in Cottage Grove, which is about 10 miles south of Creswell on the I-5 corridor.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said a “very cursory examination of the car at the scene found no foul play.” The car will be processed more thoroughly at the OSP crime lab.

Several law enforcement agencies across Western Oregon are continuing to follow leads in the case. Friends and family members are planning to search the area near where her car was found at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Helenius did not attend the conference Sunday and has not contacted her family, the sheriff’s office said.

Her family is now begging anyone who saw Demi's car at any time on Saturday night to call police.

Police ask anyone who saw her in the last week to talk to investigators. If you have any helpful information in the case, call the sheriff’s office at 503-846-2500.

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