Respected educator Jeanette Bauman left in May; Steven Haugen was a substitute hereILWACO - A former Ilwaco High School business teacher, who left the Peninsula last month to join her boyfriend near Eugene, has been found shot dead in a double-murder.
The bodies of Jeanette Bauman, 56, and Stevan Haugen, 54, were found by campers Friday near a U.S. Forest Service road, about 25 miles south of Oakridge. Both had been shot to death, as was Haugen's dog, Caesar, a chow/golden retriever mix.
Authorities have no suspects, but are checking statewide for a vehicle bearing their truck's missing license plate.
Lt. Rene Stone of the Lane County Sheriff's Office said an autopsy Sunday determined that both died from gunshot wounds. No information about the wounds or the type of weapon used was released, but she said the case was being investigated as a double homicide, not a murder-suicide.
Bauman worked in Ilwaco two years, taking over the business studies position vacated by longtime North Coast educator Bob Filori.
"She was a really good teacher," Lisa Nelson, Ilwaco High School principal, said Tuesday morning. "Very hands-on oriented. Very compassionate about life and her career. It's really hard to believe."
Haugen, who had taught as a substitute in the Ocean Beach School District, had worked for a year as counselor and track coach at Westridge Middle School in the Oakridge School District, where he also taught a reading class. Bauman left her Ilwaco job to join him about two weeks ago and neighbors said the couple had been spending their summer golfing and fishing.
The pair were found dead Friday by campers, who went to the managers at Sand Prairie Campground near Hills Creek Reservoir and called 9-1-1.
The bodies were discovered off U.S. Forest Service Road 2134, also known as Staley Ridge Road, about five miles north of the Lane-Douglas county line and southeast of the Camper's Flat campground.
Authorities did not release the caliber of weapon used or say how many times the couple were shot.
Investigators said Sunday they do not have any suspects, and have issued no advisory about possibly armed individuals.
However, officials said license plates removed from Haugen's vehicle - CL47763 with Crater Lake in the background - have been listed as stolen, and they are asking anyone who sees the plates on another vehicle or anywhere else to call 9-1-1. Anyone in the Camper's Flat area between Wednesday and Friday is asked to contact authorities at (541) 682-4150.
Haugen was accustomed to being outdoors for long periods, said Michael Loney, Haugen's brother-in-law and a deputy with the Williamson County Sheriff's Office in Texas.
"It wasn't unlike him to go off for two to three days with some dried food and a backpack and go fishing," he said.
Haugen was born and raised in Kalispell, Mont. He had worked as an outdoor guide in Montana and as recreation director in Park City, Utah. Haugen also had worked in the St. Regis School District in Montana.
Loney said he couldn't understand anyone wanting to harm his brother-in-law. "He was a gentle person who enjoyed helping kids. That's why this floors us," Loney said.
"Why Stevan? He's doing more to help kids as a guidance counselor. His killing makes no sense," Loney said.
Emma Fitzhugh, 74, who lived on the other side of Haugen's duplex since November, said Haugen "was very good to me and my husband" and would mow their lawn when he did his. She said Haugen walked his dog every night when he got home from school, rain or shine.
Haugen's dog " was like a big, old teddy bear," Fitzhugh said, accompanying him everywhere.
Loney, the dead man's brother-in-law, said officials did an autopsy on Caesar to collect evidence in case the dog bit the attacker.