Sheriff’s office seeks information to solve cold case from the 1970s

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The Clark County Sheriff’s Office has asked for the public’s help as they work to solve the disappearance and the death of a teenage girl in the late 1970s. 

Sandra Renee Morden, known as Sandy, was 16 when she disappeared, stated a news release.  

Sandy’s body was discovered in 1980, but she was known as the “Fly Creek Jane Doe” until her remains were identified in 2019 through a forensic genetic genealogy study. The study was confirmed by DNA analysis of reference samples provided by family members. 

Sandy was born in San Francisco on April 29, 1962, to Andrew Bain Morden and Kathryn Irene (Long) Morden.  Her father, Andrew, died in 1999 in Ilwaco, while her mother, Kathryn, died in 1988 in San Francisco. Both of her parents were in their 40s when she disappeared. 

The release stated Sandy moved with her parents to Portland from the Bay area in the late 1960s. After her parents divorced in 1971, Sandy’s father was awarded primary custody. Her mother, who was believed to be living in Portland at the time, still had contact with Sandy. 

Andrew Morden maintained an apartment on Bertha Boulevard in the Burlingame area of Portland, and later lived at an apartment on Grant Street in downtown Vancouver. He later acquired a fifth-wheel trailer around the time of his daughter’s disappearance. He was believed to have been living at a mobile home or RV park near Leichner Road, located north of the Hazel Dell area in Vancouver. 

“Andy, often with Sandy, was known to frequent cafe style restaurants in both Portland and Vancouvcer,” stated the release. 

Andy Morden worked as a deckhand on tugboats on the Willamette and Columbia rivers, which kept him away from home for up to a week at a time, so Sandy was placed in the care of others while he was at work.

Sandy stayed with a family in southeast Portland in 1975. She attended Binnesmead Elementary School at that time. Then she later stayed with a family from 1975 to 1976 as she attended Gaiser Middle School, which was followed by a stay with a family in the Burlingame neighborhood in Portland as she attended Wilson High School from 1976 to 1977. In the summer and fall of 1977, Sandy stayed with a family in Newberg. She registered to attend Newberg High School at that time.

Sandy is described as tall with long, dark hair, and reportedly looked older than her true age.

“Sandy was known to have loved animals, particularly horses,” stated the release. “She actively sought out horse ranches and large horse boarding arenas. She also owned a dog named Rusty at the time she disappeared.”

Detectives from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office would like to hear from anyone who knew Andy and Sandy Morden, particularly if they interacted with the duo in Vancouver in the 1970s.

Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators at coldcase@clark.wa.gov or through the Cold Case Tip Line at 564-397-2036.



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