Sheriff seeks public's help finding missing woman

The Jackson County Sheriff's Department is asking for volunteers to help distribute fliers Saturday, Aug. 24, in an effort to locate a missing Ruch woman.

Stephanie Anne Warner, 43, was last seen on the Fourth of July, authorities say. News videos show Warner marching in Ashland's Independence Day parade on behalf of the Jackson County Fuel Committee. The brown-eyed, red-haired, 5-feet-2-inch, 135-pound woman was wearing black pants and a pink tank top at the event.

Detective Eric Henderson said Warner's neighbors, friends and boyfriend, Lennie Ames, have all been questioned in an effort to find the missing woman. Detectives and search-and-rescue crews have repeatedly searched Warner's home and surrounding area to no avail, Henderson said. (Correction: Ames' name has been corrected.)

"There is no indication she left the area," Henderson said. "There has been no activity with her bank account, and we have had her vehicle at the sheriff's office since July 9."

Now the Sheriff's Department is partnering with the fuel committee, local churches and Warner's friends and family to ask volunteers to help distribute fliers throughout Jackson County, he said.

Leads have been few in the missing-person case, and Henderson hopes Saturday's flier distribution will bring new information.

"We've had just a few, small, handful of tips," Henderson said. "All have been followed up on."

Warner's family, who live in Louisiana, called to report her disappearance. Her mother stated it was unlike her daughter to go without contact. Warner's family created the flier that will be distributed in a further attempt to located the missing woman, he said.

The flier states Warner typically wears a small, metal cross necklace fashioned of nails and bronze wire strung on a long black cord. Her tattoos include a green peacock on her left thigh, a woman's face in profile with a large butterfly in her hair on her right thigh, and a pink flowered vine with an owl sitting on it on her right ankle, Henderson said.

Warner was "a very active volunteer" with the Jackson County Fuel Committee, Henderson said.

"It's not like her to miss any Saturdays," he said.

Henderson said gathering her friends and colleagues, along with other volunteers, might lead to information that will help locate Warner.

"It's a good way to keep her name out there, and to get the community together to help try to find her," Henderson said.

If interested in helping, meet at the Jackson County Fuel Committee lot at the corner of Eagle Mill Road and South Valley View Road in Ashland at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Anyone with information about Warner's disappearance is asked to call the sheriff's tip line at 541-774-8333 or email

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or

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