YOU can help police solve two outer East Portland murders

Those with valid anonymous tips can receive a cash reward of up to $2,500 for help solving these two homicides, which took place in Lents and Hazelwood …

Help Portland Police Bureau Homicide Division detectives to solve murders – a double homicide that took place seven years ago – and one this past August 20 – here, in outer East Portland.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Although the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) is quite short on staff, detectives from the Bureau’s Homicide Division doggedly keep searching for killers.

Here are two cases in which they’re asking for your help – provide information they need and get a cash reward*.

August 20, 2021 Shooting murder in Lents

A murder in Lents, just a block away from where the Portland Pickles were playing baseball in Lents Park, shocked the neighbors.

CLICK HERE to read our coverage of Johnny Polanco’s murder.

Police ask for your help in tracking down the murderer of this man, Johnny Polanco, shown here with his child. Family-provided image.

PPB Homicide Detectives identified the suspect in this shooting as 18-year-old Leonard Edwards – and are still looking for him. PPB-provided image

Homicide Detectives worked with the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office to have warrants issued for 18-year-old Leonard Edwards, for the crime of Murder in the Second Degree and for Unlawful Use of a Weapon.

A warrant was also issued for 20-year-old Deshondra Jamietasha Rayford for the crime of Assault in the Third Degree.

Although booked on a Felony Assault charge, Deshondra Jamietasha Rayford was released from the MCDC jail without, being required to post bail. MCDC booking photo

On November 3, Rayford turned herself in and was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 2:16 p.m. that day, on the charge of Assault in the Third Degree. At her arraignment, Rayford learned that her bail would be set at $125,000. However, she was released from custody a day later, on November 4, without having to pay bail. Release Reason: Pretrial Supervision.

If you have information about this – Portland’s 60th homicide this year; especially including the current location of suspect Leonard Edwards – please contact Detective Jennifer Hertzler at Jennifer.Hertzler@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-1040; or Detective Joseph Corona at Joseph.Corona@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-0508. In your email or call, reference Case No. 21-231670.

* To submit an anonymous tip for a cash reward, see below.

2014 Hazelwood double murder
remains unsolved

In October, 2014, PPB Homicide Division detectives swarmed this quiet street in the Hazelwood neighborhood to investigate a double homicide. East Portland News archive image

On October 30, 2014, after relatives unsuccessfully tried to check on long-time Hazelwood residents Jerry and Helen Ephrem, they called the 9-1-1 Center.

PPB East Precinct officers were dispatched to the home on NE 114th Avenue, a few houses north of Glisan Street, at 12:32 p.m. that afternoon, along with medical first responders – only to find the couple murdered in their home.

CLICK HERE to read our original article
about the Ephrems’ murder

Police, and their family members, hope someone will come forward about the murders of Helen Ephrem and Jerry Ephrem. Family-supplied photo

Even after years of investigation, there is no suspect information and no known reason why anyone would want to hurt the victims.

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

To send a secure and anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers, CLICK HERE.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

 

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