As Medford detectives continued the grim task of sifting through the crime scene for evidence Tuesday, a colorful memorial dedicated to Tabasha Paige-Criado and her four children grew in front of the home where they were attacked and later died of stab wounds and smoke inhalation.
Rosie Mountain was among the many people who didn't know the family but decided to make the journey to the scene of Jackson County's biggest homicide case to pay her respects.
"I have four kids myself who were the same age as (Paige-Criado's) children," Mountain said. "This made me pull my children close last night."
Mountain and her children picked out a stuffed bear to place at the memorial, which had grown over the course of the day to include an array of flowers, numerous stuffed dogs and kitties, "Star Wars" toys and a purple car.
The memorial was flanked by candles, many of them bearing the image of the Virgin Mary.
Meanwhile, detectives filed in and out of the home where Paige-Criado and her children were attacked in a brutal murder that rocked this west Medford neighborhood.
Maya Bourn and her friend Josh Nurss live nearby and said the neighborhood remained in shock.
"It could have been you or someone you know," Bourn said. "It's eerie to walk by here and know what happened in that house."
Nurss said the neighborhood has had issues with crime in the past, but nothing could compare with the murder of an entire family allegedly at the hands of the father.
"We've seen a lot of things happen in this area, but this is by far the worst," he said.
The memorial was busy throughout the afternoon as people approached it to place a bundle of roses or a Care Bear. Those who visited the shrine rarely spoke and if they did, it was in quiet tones.
Mountain could not contain her emotions as she situated the teddy bear next to a stuffed Schnauzer left by a previous visitor.
She said the murder brought back painful memories of her time in an abusive relationship.
"This should open everyone's eyes to abuse that's happening in their neighborhoods," she said.
Racheal DeRose, who picked flowers to leave at the memorial, said she would not judge the suspect, 51-year-old Jordan Criado, at this point.
"All I can think about now is that four children and a woman have lost their lives in a terrible tragedy," she said. "All that can be done now is to pick up the pieces."
A laminated note left at the scene signed by "The West Medford Family" described how Paige-Criado was a fixture in the neighborhood, but mostly unknown to her neighbors.
"How could it be that we didn't know your name until yesterday?" the note read.
The letter contained some tough words for Criado, who is expected to be charged with the murders within days.
"As for Jordan ...The Bible says that we must forgive in order that we ourselves can be forgiven," it read. "So we will do our best in that endeavor — God help us."
By 4 p.m., the detectives had loaded up what appeared to be charred bedding and a pair of damaged couches into trucks bound for the department's evidence storage. They pulled down the yellow crime scene tape blocking the road to open it to traffic.
Before leaving for the day, the detectives moved the memorial, gently picking up each bundle of flowers and stuffed animal and moving them from the street to a patch of grass in front of the Criado house.
Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471; or email email@example.com.