Menlo Park daytime murder remains unsolved

Take a look at information released by police about a two-year-old outer East Portland crime that has yet to be solved. Identify this suspect, and your tip could be worth $2,500 cash …

On the other side of this knoll, at a maintenance entrance to the Menlo Park Elementary School recreation field in the Hazelwood neighborhood, a man died from gunshot wounds. East Portland News archive image

Story and photos by David F; Ashton

Detectives working in the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Homicide Division haven’t given up trying to solve the murder of 38-year-old Larry Edwin Van Dolah Jr., on the sunny Saturday of April 15, 2017.

>> To see our coverage of the original investigation, CLICK HERE.

At 12:41 p.m. that afternoon, East Precinct officers found the lifeless body of Van Dolah on the east side of NE 128th Avenue, just south of East Burnside Street, at an entrance to the Menlo Park Elementary School recreation field.

Why this man, then-38-year-old Larry Edwin Van Dolah Jr., drove from St. Helens to this school, remains unknown. Family provided photo

It’s unknown why Van Dolah, who lived and had business interests in St. Helens, was at a Portland elementary school. Officials reported that Van Dolah died from gunshot wounds at the scene.

“Information indicates that the suspects were three black males, ages 16 to 20 years old, all wearing hooded sweatshirts. Two of the suspects were wearing blue jeans, while the third was wearing dark-colored sweatpants,” a PPB official revealed this week. “The three were last seen crossing East Burnside Street, walking toward SE 129th Avenue.”

This “still frame” from a video surveillance system isn’t very clear, but detectives say it does show the suspects, casually strolling away from the murder scene.

A PPB Forensic Sketch Artist created this image based on the descriptions of a witness.

Crime Stoppers of Oregon offers rewards of up to $2,500 in cash for information, reported to Crime Stoppers, that leads to an arrest in this unsolved felony crime, and tipsters can remain anonymous.

To open Crime Stoppers’ anonymous online reporting form, CLICK HERE; or, you can call 503-823-HELP (4357).

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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