Friend works to help twin girls left behind in Gresham murder-suicide

Hillary Vodden. (Contributed Photo)

Friends of a murdered mother are now trying to help her twin 9-year-old girls while grieving her loss.

Hillary Vodden died as a result of a murder-suicide the day before the Christmas Eve birthday for the twin girls.

Police say Vodden was shot and killed Dec. 23. Officers responded to the 2000 block of Northwest 7th Place that evening after the suspect’s father told them that he believed his son – Vodden’s boyfriend – had killed Vodden.

Police found Vodden dead inside her home.

Stevie Jackson has been friends with Vodden since they were children. Even though Jackson left Gresham years ago and ended up in Texas, she said she and Vodden stayed close.

Via Skype Tuesday, Jackson said there were no warning signs she knows of that might explain what happened.

"I don't know exactly what happened at this point," she said. "We're all in a fog, and we're all trying to figure out what happened and why and how to even cope with what has hit us. I think we're all in shock."

She said since childhood, Vodden was a joy to everyone and someone who openly trusted others.

“She always just had a way of making you feel loved and happy," Jackson said.

Twenty minutes after the reported murder, authorities said they found suspect Robert Lopez dead inside Vodden’s car after it crashed at a crossroad on Highway 26 southeast of Gresham.

Police said Lopez shot himself.

Jackson has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Vodden’s two young girls who now face life without their mother.

She said Vodden stayed strong for her girls when her brother passed away four years ago and now she'll do the same for those children now that their mother is gone.

“They loved their mom so much,” said Jackson. “I'm just asking for prayers for those girls and for their mom and for everyone who's left behind that has to go through life without her.”

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