MOUNTAIN FALLS, Ore.
(AP) A family in northeastern Oregon is accused of killing two teenage girls and two boys after taking them to the bottom of a cliff in a tragic accident.
A judge in the Douglas County district attorney’s office charged 44-year-old Jason Ritchie with the deaths of two 14-year old girls and 15-year year old boys.
Ritchie was booked Friday in Douglas County jail on a felony charge of murder.
Ritzell said the two boys’ bodies were found on Saturday.
The girls, who lived in the family’s home, had been wearing only underwear, according to court documents.
Ritts brother, 24-year age, was also arrested.
Prosecutors say he told investigators that Ritchie had been at the top of the mountain with the two girls when they got down.
He also said he saw Ritchie walk out of the home with the bodies, according.
In a statement released Friday, Douglas County District Attorney Ken Anderson said his office would not comment further on the case because it is a pending criminal case.
He said that prosecutors were seeking to charge Ritchie in the two deaths.
“We continue to seek justice for the families, and we remain committed to getting the perpetrators of this horrific crime caught,” Anderson said.
The victims were found in the early morning hours of March 16, 2018, when Ritchie, of Lake Forest, Oregon, was taking his son and daughter to their home in the middle of the night, according a search warrant affidavit.
Authorities say Ritchie’s vehicle had been broken into at the time and he had been holding the victims inside for three days.
When Ritchie called his son about 3 a.m. on March 16 to say his girlfriend and son were missing, he was told that their mother and son had been killed.
Ritchie told police that his family had a history of missing people and he took the girls to the top to look at the cliff, the affidavit said.
They were told that the boys had been taken there by a relative.
On Monday, Ritchie and his wife, Samantha, drove to the edge of the cliff to search for the boys, according the affidavit.
They drove to a nearby farm and saw a white car, the document said.
The men saw the car again on the same road, and then they drove back to the farm, the warrant said.
Ritner’s wife also called 911 about 3:30 a.mi. on Monday, according her 911 call, saying that she had heard a car on the side of the road.
Ritchys son was in the car, but Ritchie did not see him, the documents said.
When the boys were not heard from again, Ritners son called 911.
During the call, Ritter’s son told investigators Ritchie told him that his brother had told him to call 911 because the other family was out of town, according, the search warrant.
At the time, Ritchy had been drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana, the police document said, adding that Ritzers son had told the children that Ritney was trying to kill them.
He said that Rittys brother, Jason Ritzen, had threatened to kill him and that he had tried to take the children out of his car, according with the search document.
Rikers Island, where Ritzens father is currently being held, is about 80 miles (130 kilometers) northwest of the city of Portland.