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Cottage Grove residents react to news missing woman found OK; family issues statement

Demi Helenius went missing Saturday afternoon. She was found, safe and healthy, Tuesday night. Photo from Washington County Sheriff's Office.

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. - A missing Portland area woman, Demi Helenius, was found on Tuesday night after an extensive search throughout Lane County and Douglas County.

According to the Washington County Sheriff's Office, she was found safe and in good health in Roseburg.

Helenius abruptly left the Landmark Worldwide Forum event she was attending in Portland, disappearing Saturday evening.

Her phone was found in Creswell, and her car was found parked behind a gas station in Cottage Grove.

Police and media swarmed Cottage Grove, searching for answers to Helenius's disappearance.

The town was rocked by the situation.

"My sister and I drove by it, and at first I was really really nervous and I'm like, what is going on? We saw the forensic truck and everything," resident Kimberly Pulliam said.

Residents put up signs around the town, hoping to find Helenius.

Police, family members and worried friends gathered at local restaurants like the Koffee Cup.

"I had a lot of people in and out of the restaurant yesterday because of it," Koffee Cup employee Michelle Henry said.

Now, Helenius is safe and reunited with her family.

But some people, like Pulliam, say they feel like they're missing information.

"Something seems a little bit weird to me," Pulliam said. "Was she found by herself? I don't know. You know, I'm not real sure yet."

KVAL News asked the Washington County Sheriff's Office for more information on the circumstances of Helenius's disappearance. We asked if she was with anyone when she was found, and how Helenius got from Cottage Grove to Roseburg.

The Sheriff's Office declined to answer our questions, instead releasing a statement:

“Ms. Helenius left on her own for personal reasons. When she was located, Ms. Helenius was found to be not in danger and in very good health. Though the manner in which she did it caused a lot of people (including us) much concern, we respect her privacy.”

Demi Helenius's family released a statement Wednesday night.

We were happy and relieved to find out Demi was found safe Tuesday evening. Most importantly at this time, we would like to express our gratitude to the Lane County and Washington County sheriffs, all the news networks that kept running the story, everyone who kept us in their thoughts and prayer, anyone who shared the posts on social media and the amazing people who generously took time out of their lives to hand out fliers and talk to people and businesses. We were overwhelmed with the love and support we felt during this tough time. It definitely restored our faith in humanity. We could not have found her without everyone's exhausted efforts.

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