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Portland Cold Cases

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Portland, Oregon Cold Cases

Statistics show that there have been a significant number of homicides and disappearances in Portland, Oregon that have gone cold since 1980. Unsolved, or "cold," cases are ones that haven't been any new developments in the investigation in quite some time. Hundreds of such situations have occurred in Portland, leaving many families without answers or resolution.

There has been a steady rise in the number of unsolved cases in Portland since the 1980s. People of different ages, races, and sexes are represented in the cases. Some involve children who were kidnapped or disappeared without a trace, while others are connected to adults who were murdered under mysterious circumstances. Regrettably, as more time passes, the likelihood of solving these crimes lowers and the perpetrators are never caught.

The bulk of missing persons investigations in Portland, Oregon, involve people who went missing or were murdered in the late 1990s and early 2000s, according to the Portland Police Bureau's Missing People Section. Although some families have persisted in their pursuit of answers and justice since the 1980s, others have been left in the dark about the whereabouts of their loved ones.

The growing number of unsolved mysteries in the Portland area can be attributed to a number of causes. Such examples are the increased drug use, gang violence, and overall population of the city. Inadequate resources, finance, and technology are also major factors in why these crimes go unsolved.

The Portland Police Bureau is still looking into hundreds of instances that have yet to be solved. Many cases cannot be resolved because there is insufficient evidence or witnesses. Insufficient law enforcement resources, a lack of forensic technology, and other reasons beyond the control of the police might cause certain cases to go cold.

Famous cold cases in Portland

It is impossible to overestimate the suffering caused by these unsolved cold cases to the loved ones left behind. Without answers, these families are left in a condition of uncertainty. In the midst of their suffering and loss, they keep searching for resolution. Families have used everything from private detectives and social media to government databases and court records in search of closure.

The public has a responsibility to help solve cold cases as well. No matter how seemingly trivial, the police want anyone with information about any cold case to come forward. Every piece of information helps investigators go closer to solving the case and bringing closure to the victims' families.

In conclusion, it is concerning that the number of missing and homicide cases in Portland, Oregon has been steadily rising since 1980. The impact of these instances is felt throughout the community, and the absence of closure and answers for families is distressing. While the police force is committed to pursuing leads in these investigations, the public must do all it can to assist as well. The community may aid the victims' families in finding closure and prevent other tragedies by coming forward with any information they may have.

Joseph Smedley
Joseph SmedleySuspicious Death, 2015
Asha Degree
Asha DegreeMissing, 2000

Consider this

More than 200,000 unsolved cases have gone cold since 1980, and murder clearance rates continue to drop. With equity for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other underserved victims not prioritized in the true crime community—together we can do better.

What is Portland Police Bureau (PPB)'s strategy for investigating unsolved cases?

The Cold Case Murder Unit of the Portland Police Bureau looks into homicide and missing person cases that have gone cold since the 1960s. Their number one priority is to help families get the answers they've been searching for for years, if not decades.

With the help of forensic analysts, crime analysts, and other law enforcement agencies, the Cold Case Murder Unit's three investigators are able to solve cold cases. However, they rely significantly on public tips and information and maintain a tip line just for cold cases.

The Cold Case Murder Unit of the Portland Police Bureau uses new information and methods to reexamine cold cases. This requires a thorough reexamination of the evidence with up-to-date forensic methods, software, and databases.

The Cold Case Murder Unit also prioritizes its connections to the communities it serves and the families of its victims. They keep the cases in the public eye by holding frequent meetings and events to inspire people to come forward with information.

The Cold Case Murder Unit of the Portland Police Bureau also uses partnerships with other organizations and agencies to solve cold cases, such as the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Together, they have a greater chance of solving crimes that would have gone cold otherwise.

The Cold Case Murder Unit of the Portland Police Bureau is dedicated to doing all in its power to bring those responsible to justice. Even though some crimes may never be solved, the investigators will stop at nothing in their quest for information.

What resources are available to help solve cold cases?

In Portland, Oregon, there are a number of resources available to investigate and potentially solve cold cases. Among these are:

The Cold Case Murder Unit of the Portland Police Bureau is dedicated solely to the investigation of unsolved homicides from the past. They collaborate with the public to discover fresh leads, and they employ cutting-edge forensic equipment to examine the evidence.

Crime Stoppers of Oregon is a nonprofit group that pays out rewards for information that leads to the capture and conviction of those responsible for unsolved homicides. For anonymous reporting, they provide a toll-free hotline and a web-based form.

The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office has a Cold Case Murder Unit that coordinates with local police to investigate and prosecute unsolved homicides. They use forensic science and collaborate with the public to gain fresh insights.

Helping local law enforcement with homicide and other big crime investigations, including cold cases, is the mission of the Oregon State Police's Major Crimes Branch.

NamUs is a national database that connects law enforcement departments across the country to share information regarding missing persons and unidentified remains. It can be helpful in solving cold cases and putting names to unknown remains.

The Doe Network is a non-profit group whose members donate their time to identify the remains of missing people. Information on missing people and unidentified bodies is stored in their case file database.

The Oregon Cold Case Network is a charitable group whose mission is to inform the public and aid grieving families about unsolved cold cases in the Beaver State. They collaborate with police to help solve cold cases.

These tools have the potential to be instrumental in solving cold cases in Portland, Oregon, and bringing closure to the victims' families.

Major cities surrounding Portland, Oregon

Vancouver, Washington
Hillsboro, Oregon
Gresham, Oregon
Beaverton, Oregon
Tigard, Oregon

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