Three youths indicted for Gateway 13-year-old’s murder

Read what the police – and mayor – had to say about this tragic killing …

-1 At the crime scene, investigators searched for clues, when the body of  13-year-old Julio Cesar Marquez was found by schoolchildren on the morning of November 7. East Portland News archive photo

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
This story began on the morning of November 7, when schoolchildren made a gruesome discovery. 13-year-old Julio Cesar Marquez’s life had been brutally ended in the Gateway area, at NE 107th Avenue and NE Halsey Street.

  • See our story covering the initial investigation: CLICK HERE.
  • See our story about the candlelight vigil that followed: CLICK HERE.

On January 19, a Multnomah County Grand Jury indicted three youths for the murder of Marquez. Police followed that with a press conference.

For the first time, it was revealed that Portland Police Bureau (PPB) homicide detectives had recovered a rifle that investigators believe was used in the killing. While they said they’d suspected as much at the time, homicide detectives reveal that they believe that Julio’s murder was gang-related.

Tips from the community, and Crime Stoppers, helped solve the case. “Tips were given to detectives,” PPB Public Information Lt. Robert King said. “Homicide detectives worked closely with the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, the Forensic Evidence Division, the Oregon State Police Crime Lab, the Gang Enforcement Team, and the Washington State Department of Corrections, to develop information in this case.”

Indicted on charges of Aggravated Murder and Murder are: 18-year-old Samuel Vasquez, 16-year-old Ezequiel Vasquez, and 15-year-old Josefina Jasmin Ramirez, King told reporters. “Samuel and Ezequiel Vasquez are brothers.”

Officials are withholding the photo of 18-year-old Samuel Vasquez. This could be because the investigation is ongoing.

Police Chief Michael Reese says he hopes this case will increase awareness of gang issues in Portland. East Portland News archive photo

“This killing of a 13-year-old boy, whose body was found by schoolchildren, was shocking and tragic,” remarked PPB Chief Michael Reese.  “We hope the arrest of these suspects brings some closure to the family, as well as highlights gang issues in our community.”

Mayor Sam Adams commended the members of the Police Bureau divisions involved in the case, and those in the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, for their work on the case. “This case is especially concerning, given the ages of the suspects. As a community, we must redouble our efforts to keep youth out of gangs, and to support them in positive and healthy activities.”

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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