The Clark County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in solving a cold case disappearance from the 1970s.
Investigators hope to hear from friends, neighbors and classmates who knew Sandra Renee Morden and her father, Andrew “Andy” Morden, while they lived in Vancouver and the Hazel Dell area in the 1970s.
Sandra Morden’s remains were recovered in 1980 along Fly Creek near Amboy, but were not identified until 2019.
She was tall, with long, dark hair and has been described as appearing older than her age, which was about 16, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release. She loved animals, particularly horses. She often sought out horse ranches and large horse boarding arenas. She owned a dog named “Rusty” at the time she disappeared.
Sandra Morden was born in San Francisco on April 29, 1962, to Andy Morden and Kathryn “Irene” (Long) Morden, the news release states. Andy Morden died in 1999 in Ilwaco, and would have been in his late 40s at the time of Sandra’s disappearance. Irene Morden died in 1988 in San Francisco, and would have been in her early 40s when Sandra disappeared.
Sandra moved with her parents from the Bay Area to Portland in the late 1960s, according to investigators. Her parents divorced in 1971, and her father was awarded primary custody. Her mother remained in touch with Sandra, and investigators believe Irene Morden was living in the Portland area at the time of her daughter’s disappearance.
Sandra’s father lived in an apartment on Bertha Boulevard in the Burlingame area of Portland and, later, an apartment on Grant Street in downtown Vancouver. At the time of Sandra’s disappearance, investigators believe Andy Morden was living out of a fifth-wheel trailer at a mobile home/RV park near Leichner Road, north of the Hazel Dell area.
Sandra was known to frequent cafes in both Portland and Vancouver with her father, the news release states.
Andy Morden worked as a deckhand on tugboats on the Willamette and Columbia Rivers and could be gone for weeks at a time. Sandra often stayed with others while he was working. Investigators believe she stayed with a family in Southeast Portland in 1975 while she attended Binnesmead Elementary School, a Vancouver family in 1975-76 while she attended Gaiser Middle School, a family in the Burlingame neighborhood in Portland in 1976-77 while she attended Wilson High School, and a family in Newberg, Ore., in the summer and fall of 1977 when she registered to attend Newberg High School.
Anyone with information can contact investigators at email@example.com or through the Cold Case Tip Line at 564-397-2036.