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Miranda Gaddis
Miranda Gaddis

Miranda Gaddis was born November 18, 1988, in Oregon City. She attended Gardner Middle School, and dreamed of becoming a model one day. Miranda was described by friends as being outgoing, funny, and very loving. Miranda enjoyed her family, which included her mother, older sister Maryssa, younger sister Miriah, and younger brother Jason.

On January 9, 2002, a close friend of Miranda's, Ashley Pond, disappeared on her way to school. They had been on the same dance team at school and lived in the same apartment building. The police interviewed Miranda, and other friends of Ashley's, including the daughter of Ward Weaver who lived in a rented house at the edge of their apartment complex. As information filtered in, the authorities began to suspect that Ward Weaver was involved in Ashley's disappearance, but despite Miranda's insistence that Ashley had said that Ward Weaver was violent toward her, no arrest was made and his property was not searched. Given that Weaver's father was on death-row for sexually violent murders and had buried his victims in his backyard, the public was outraged that it took investigators eight months to get a search warrant.

Two months after Ashley's disappearance, on March 8, 2002, around 1:20 p.m., Michelle Duffey, Miranda's mom, received a call from her oldest daughter, informing her that Miranda was not at school and that none of her friends had seen her all day. Michelle immediately went to the police to report that her daughter was missing. Now the police were searching for two girls. It wasn't until August, when Weaver's son's girlfriend accused him of trying to rape her that police finally secured the warrant to search Ward Weaver's property. Ashley's body was discovered inside a barrel, in a hole, under a concrete slab that had been poured soon after she was reported missing. Miranda's remains were found in a shed on the same property. On September 22, 2004 Ward Weaver pleaded guilty and received two life sentences for the deaths of Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis.

Michelle Duffey is determined to do what she can to lobby for laws that will keep dangerous sex offenders off the streets and to honor her daughter, Miranda.