Although police won’t say this slaying is gang-related, see why many folks involved with this very troubling story are saying this 13-year-old just didn’t behave like a little boy …
A Portland Police Bureau officer stands guard, while detectives comb the scene of the latest – and youngest – victim of apparent gang violence, in the Gateway area.
Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Officially, the murder reported on the morning of November 7, 2011, at 7:37 a.m., just south of NE Halsey Street in the Gateway area appears to be the result of increased gang violence.
But, nothing “typical” about this story; everything about it is troubling.
Police say that, tragically, the body was found by kids who were taking a shortcut near the Colonial Villa Apartments, coming out on NE 106th Avenue as they headed off to school.
Detectives compare notes on evidence found at the scene where the body of a 13-year-old boy was discovered, near the dumpsters, at the right side of the photo.
“Officers arrived and located a deceased person and established a crime scene, calling for Homicide Detectives and Criminalists from the Forensic Evidence Division,” is the word Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson put out that morning.
Equally troubling was that the person killed was a 13-year-old, named Julio Cesar Marquez. “The Medical Examiner determined that Marquez died of multiple gunshot wounds and blunt force trauma, and ruled his death a homicide,” Simpson reported. “At this point, Homicide Detectives have no suspect information, and no motive to Marquez’ killing.”
Police say 13-year-old Julio Cesar Marquez was identified as the murder victim in this case. David Douglas School District photo
Clearly, officials know more about this case than they’ve said so far.
By now, officials are surely aware that, going by the moniker “Ese Stoner” on his Facebook page, Marquez claimed to be a member of the Sureños, a group of Mexican-American street gangs with origins in the oldest barrios of Southern California and sported gang-related tattoos.
While it could have been an expression of youthful bravado, some are saying that his widely-reported November 5 post on Facebook – “I love gang bangin violence!” – foretold his early demise.
Teachers at Oregon Outreach’s Rosi Hinton program – just recently opened to students younger than high school age, and located at North Powellhurst School – expressed surprise and dismay that the young man they told media “was a model student” would meet a violent end.
The Police Mobile Precinct, here parked on NE 106th Avenue, serves as the headquarters for the murder investigation.
Yet, Marquez reportedly had a history of theft arrests, and pleaded guilty to an assault charge stemming from an at-school beating.
Troubling as well is why a 13-year-old was running in the streets near midnight, which is when the murder is thought to have taken place. Some suggest that his mother, 43-year-old Diana Baxter, was preoccupied with reportedly being indicted and then pleading guilty to stealing thousands of dollars from her former employer, the Oregon Department of Human Services – with her sentencing coming up on the first of December.
Finally, it is troubling that most gang murderers are never brought to justice – those who “know” aren’t likely to talk with police.
The new-yet-unimproved Gateway Park is taped off, preserving the area for evidence investigation.
“We’re asking for anyone with information to come forward,” Simpson said. “Detective Bryan Steed can be reached at (503) 823-0395 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Detective Rico Beniga can be reached at (503) 823-0457 or email@example.com.”
Further, Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information, reported to Crime Stoppers, that leads to an arrest in this case.
“And, you can remain anonymous,” Simpson helpfully observed.
Leave a Crime Stoppers tip online at www.crimestoppersoforegon.com –text CRIMES (274637) and in the subject line put 823HELP, followed by your tip – or, call 503-823-HELP (4357) and leave your tip information.
© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News