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Murder investigators return to ranch outside Rogue River

 Posted: 12:10 PM January 14, 2014

Detectives this morning again were searching the rural Rogue River ranch of a 65-year-old woman accused of murdering two unidentified people there in the past 17 months.

Authorities would not confirm this morning whether investigators were looking for more bodies on the West Evans Creek Road farm of Susan Monica.

Monica was arraigned Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court on two counts each of murder and first-degree abuse of a corpse.

Jackson County District Attorney Beth Heckert said Monday that authorities believe they know the identities of the two victims but they have not yet been positively identified. Autopsies had not been conducted as of late Monday, Heckert said.

Family members believe one of the victims is Robert Haney, who they say answered Monica's online advertisement for a handyman last year and then disappeared.

Family members went looking for Haney last week and ended up at Monica's farm, where they found Haney's truck and tools, according to two relatives from the San Jose, Calif., area.

Family members filed a missing person's report with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, and the investigation morphed into an identity-theft case on which detectives served a search warrant at the house Friday.

During that search, detectives say they found evidence of a homicide on the property, leading to further searches.

Court filings allege that one of the victims was murdered Aug. 1, 2012, and the other on Sept. 9, 2013. Neither victim was identified in court documents.

Haney's family members believe he was killed in September.

A welder by trade, Monica bought the 20-acre farm in 1991 and it includes a large barn and a pond. It was unclear this morning where investigators were focusing their most recent search.

The short, stocky and bald Monica on Dec. 12 entered the Rogue River Police Department to report that a male friend was recently harassed in the Gold Hill area, police Chief Ken Lewis said. She was referred to the sheriff's department because the alleged harassment occurred in its jurisdiction, Lewis said.

— Mark Freeman


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