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10 years later, woman sheds light on why sister killed by Ward Weaver

Miranda Gaddis, left, and Ashley Pond.
Miranda Gaddis, left, and Ashley Pond.
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OREGON CITY, Ore. - Ten years ago Thursday, the second of two Oregon City girls who were killed by their neighbor was kidnapped.

Two months before Miranda Gaddis disappeared, her classmate, Ashley Pond, vanished.

Both were kidnapped and killed by Ward Weaver, who's serving life in prison for the crimes.

Why he did it has been relatively unknown and unreported. But now, Miranda's sister, Miriah, knows what happened. She got answers from Weaver after he went to prison.

"He honestly thought when Miranda was walking up the hill to the school bus that Miranda had saw something he was in the middle of doing and he got scared and panicked. So he told her: Hey, Ashley's inside. Ashley wants to come home and Ashley's scared. So, Miranda went over," Miriah said.

Preying on a 13-year-old's desire to help, using the idea of her 12-year-old friend, Ashley, as bait, Weaver employed the ultimate deception.

"He hurt a lot of people," Miriah said.

She lives with the absence of what Weaver stole from her. Holidays, she said, are especially difficult. And evenings, too.

"It's really hard because at night is usually when you talk to those people you love the most and she's not there," she said.

The girls were both friends with Weaver's daughter - they were on the dance team with her. And both had spent nights at his home.

Weaver seemed excited when he described the sleepovers to KATU News reporter Anna Canzano, then Anna Song, when she spoke to him that July.

"You could not walk anywhere in my front room without stepping on a body," he said.

KATU News was on to Weaver based on a tip it received about the "bushy haired neighbor at the top of the hill." And it wouldn't take long in the course of the interview to learn why.

"They are saying that I am their No. 1 suspect," he said.

Weaver said he flunked two polygraph tests but took a KATU camera crew through his home to show he had nothing to hide.

In remarkably brazen acts with the camera rolling, he walked over a concrete slab during the interview with Song outside the house. Beneath it he had entombed Ashley.

And inside, he stood in front of a freezer he had used to store Miranda's body.

Miriah said Weaver also told her he killed Ashley Pond because he was afraid he was about to get arrested for raping her. This communication between them took place three years ago. She said they haven't been in contact since.

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