Body found in Santiam River, identified

By Sarah Brown
Lebanon Local

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office identified the body of a male found in the Santiam River near Tennessee Road, which they recovered on Sunday, July 3, at 1:36 p.m. The male has been identified as 16-year-old Carlos Adriano Pereira-Valenzuela, who was reportedly last seen on Sunday, June 12, and was reported missing on June 13.

A social media post indicated his phone was last pinged in Sweet Home near Wiley Creek on the morning of June 14. Pereira’s mother, Ana Cartwright, said there had since been no new evidence to suggest his whereabouts.

Carlos Adriano Pereira

The family was notified on July 26 after he was identified by dental records, said Lebanon Police Chief Frank Stevenson. At this time, investigators believe there was no foul play, as all indications led them to believe this was the result of suicide, he said. However, they are continuing the investigation.

“It’s been rough for the family not knowing where this kid was at, and it’s been rough for us just trying to track him and find him and locate him,” Stevenson said.

Gary and Jan Hull, who live near where the body was discovered, said Jan had floated down the river the day before it was found, and would have definitely seen it if it was there that day.

Maria Thomas, Pereira’s math teacher at Lebanon High School, remembered him as a good, “silly” kid.

“I’ve been thinking about him a lot this summer,” she said. “He seemed to have really good friends who cared about him a lot. He was just a really funny guy and always knew how to make people laugh. He was such a joy to have (in my class).”

She recalled a card he gave her during teacher appreciation week, which she said really made her day.

Stevenson encourages anyone who is struggling with thoughts of suicide to call or text the Suicide and Crisis hotline at 988, or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. Local resident Dave Butler, who lost his son to suicide, is also available to talk by phone or text on his personal line at (541) 936-2580.

“Reach out if you’re struggling,” Butler said. “We’ve got some resources around here that are willing to help.”

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Lebanon Police Sgt. Chad Christenson at (541) 258-4324 or Officer Tyler Romeo at (541) 258-4350.