PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Eugene Bigboy had failing kidneys, but friends said he still socialized with other residents at the Commons Apartments in Northeast Portland.
Bigboy, 61, was found dead in his home on March 10. An autopsy later in the week revealed he had been killed, and his 22-year-old nephew Matthew Bigboy was arrested for his murder over the weekend.
Jerry Simmons considered himself a close friend of Eugene Bigboy.
“He was a nice guy. I used to go to the store for him all the time and time to help him out,” Simmons told KOIN 6 News. “He was a nice guy.”
Another friend, Greg Woodruff, said Eugene Bigboy was engaging and loved talking about Native American culture.
“He’d talk, but he’d like to talk about the American Indian,” Woodruff said. “That’s mostly what he talked to me about.”
KOIN 6 News confirmed Portland police first learned of Matthew Bigboy around 1:30 p.m. in the afternoon his uncle died. That same day, police did a welfare check on Eugene Bigboy at his apartment and found him dead.
His body was taken to the Medical Examiner’s office on Wednesday and the autopsy performed on Thursday.
Officials refused to comment on what happened between March 10 and March 12. That is a key part of their investigation, they said.
Simmons noticed the tattoos on Matthew Bigboy when he met him two weekends ago, on a Saturday.
“It was the first time I had ever seen him in my life,” Simmons said. He talked with Matthew Bigboy at the apartment complex.
“The young Indian looking dude, the one that had the (distinctive tattoo), yeah, said, ‘Why you knocking on the door? You know he off in there dead.’ Yup. That’s what he said.”
Woodruff also met Matthew Bigboy and told KOIN 6 News he seemed to be “violent. Not a nice person.”
“It’s a real shame that’s all I can say,” Woodruff said. “It’s a real waste, because he had so much to offer.”
Matthew Bigboy is set to appear in court at 2:30 p.m. Monday. KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.