Hazelwood homicide puzzles detectives, relatives

Why these longtime residents would have been murdered is as puzzling as who could have committed this horrendous crime …

NE 114th Avenue is closed, as police Homicide Detectives begin investigating what is characterized as the murder of two long-time outer East Portland residents.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
As afternoon turned into evening on October 30, family members and friends gathered on NE 114the Avenue, three houses north of NE Glisan Street, as police investigated a double murder.

A man who identified himself as Jerry Stevens said he was related to the deceased 65-year-old male and female victims, spoke with reporters.

“A family member called and couldn’t get a hold of them,” Stevens said. “They came by, looked in the window and saw them.”

The PPB “Mobile Precinct” provides investigators office and command space as they gather evidence at the crime scene.

He said the couple “were fine” when he last visited the house, about a week ago. “They were good family-oriented people. They didn’t bother anyone,” Stevens said. They had lived there for some forty years.

At 12:32 p.m., Portland Police Bureau East Precinct officers and medical personnel responded to the home said the Bureau’s Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson. “They found a deceased female and a male,” he told East Portland News at the scene, during the early stages of the investigation.

West of this neatly-kept yard is the house where officials say a couple was found murdered.

Based on an initial examination of the home, officers called for Homicide Detectives and Criminalists from the Forensic Evidence Division to conduct a death investigation.

“This is now considered a homicide investigation,” Simpson said. “Homicide detectives believe that both people in the home were killed by an unknown person or persons.”

Officers and detectives confer outside the PPB Mobile Precinct.

Crime Stoppers offers a reward
Simpson later released the names the victims – 65-year-old Jerry Ephrem, and his wife, 65-year-old Helen Ephrem – both of whom he said were deceased due to homicidal violence. “Detectives are not releasing the cause and manner of death at this time,” he added.

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, or in any unsolved felony, and tipsters can remain anonymous.

Leave a Crime Stoppers tip online: CLICK HERE. Or text to 274637 and in the subject line put 823HELP, followed by the tip. Finally, one call call (503) 823-HELP (4357) and leave the tip information.

Anyone with information about this investigation, including anyone in the neighborhood who saw or heard anything, is asked to contact Detective Mark Sponhauer at (503) 823-0416, mark.sponhauer@portlandoregon.gov; or, Detective Chris Traynor at (503) 823-0449, christopher.traynor@portlandoregon.gov.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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