Wilkes car fire leads to murder inquiry

Here’s what’s behind this unusual homicide investigation in outer East Portland …

It doesn’t take long for firefighters to put out a blazing car fire in the Wilkes neighborhood. It’s not known if the fire was lit specifically to cover up a murder.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

After passers-by called in a vehicle fire near NE 148th Place and San Rafael Street on October 23, Portland Fire & Rescue firefighters from their Gateway Station 30 – just 14 blocks away – were sent there at 10:48 p.m.

The firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire.

PPB officers, followed by Homicide Division detectives, arrive to investigate what officials determined to be a homicide.

Unlike most other car blazes, fire crews found a dead person in the vehicle, and called in the Portland Police Bureau (PPB). Detectives with the PPB Homicide Division took over the investigation.

“The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy, and determined that this death was a homicide,” said an unnamed spokesperson about the incident. “Additional information will be released at the direction of the investigators.”

Anyone with information about this deadly incident is asked to contact Detective William Winters 503-823-0466 William.Winters@portlandoregon.gov or Detective Anthony Merrill 503-823-4033 Anthony.Merrill@portlandoregon.gov.

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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