What took place on the edge of outer East Portland is chillingly clear; but just why Jaime Cortinas apparently killed his two kids before he took his own life may take a while to unravel …
Just east of outer East Portland, NE Glisan Street is closed, while police investigate the scene where Glenfair two young girls, and their father, died – apparently all by his hand.
Story and photos by David F. Ashton
“Just after I got home from my late shift, I heard all kinds of sirens and saw flashing lights, just before cops closed off the whole area,” said Jim Danforth, who pointed to the beige two-story “Glen East” apartment building just west of the crime scene where a father, and his two daughters, had died in the early hours of April 12.
“Everyone asked me if I heard shooting sounds; but, I didn’t hear anything like that,” Danforth told East Portland News later that morning.
Detectives and investigators sift through evidence inside and around this Range Rover, in which the lifeless bodies of two children were found.
Throughout the night, and most of the day that followed, NE Glisan Street was cordoned off just west of 162nd Avenue while an investigation, centered on a black Range Rover SUV on the north side of the street, took place between a gas station and the CLS Plasma.
The incident started when a distraught woman called the 9-1-1 Center at approximately 12:30 a.m., dispatching Portland Police Bureau officers to the Glendoveer Estates apartments at 601 NE 162nd Avenue in the Glenfair neighborhood, close to the eastern edge of the Portland City Limit.
Although the SUV was stopped just over the Gresham city line, Portland Police Bureau officers assisted in the investigation.
“Portland Police were investigating a family incident where a father had reportedly threatened to kill his two young daughters, 8 and 11-years-old, and himself,” reported Gresham Police Public Information Officer Sgt. John Rasmussen.
The daughters were believed to be with their dad at an unknown location, Rasmussen related. “Information gathered early on indicated the father had his children inside a vehicle, and that he was considered armed, dangerous and suicidal,” he said.
Investigators confer as the investigation continues.
Then, the father – later identified as 43-year-old Jaime Cortinas – reportedly called his wife several times, saying he’d already killed the girls. “He threatened to start the car on fire, and expressed plans to end his life.”
At about 1:45 a.m., Gresham officers spotted the man’s SUV, and were confronted by the father, who was armed with a handgun,” Rasmussen said. “The man [lit] the vehicle on fire, and at least one Gresham officer shot at the suspect; the man was later pronounced dead at the scene,” he added.
Throughout the day, the investigation of this case goes on.
Gresham and Portland officers immediately tried to locate and rescue the two young girls, who were thought to be inside the vehicle.
After smashing windows to enter the burning SUV, officers found and removed the children, only to find that both girls were already dead.
The Reynolds School District staff provided photos of their students who attended Glenfair School, Janet Cortinas-Duran and her sister, Jasmine Duran-Cortinas.
No officers were injured by gunfire, but several officers suffered minor injuries during their attempts to rescue the children – including strains, burns, and smoke inhalation, Rasmussen added.
The following day, Rasmussen revealed that autopsies completed by the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed evidence gathered during the examinations that 8-year-old Janet Cortinas-Duran and her 11-year-old sister, Jasmine Duran-Cortinas, had died as a result of being shot multiple times by their father.
“The autopsy for the father, Portland resident Jaime Cortinas, found he had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Rasmussen said.
But the tragically sad case leaves many questions about just why this had happened.
© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News