Homeowner sought, woman missing, bunker found

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Homicide detectives are now looking for two people connected to a house in Northeast Portland, neither of whom has been seen since early Saturday.

Crime scene investigators remain at the house two days after first arriving to do a welfare check on a person.

A close-up of a bunker found in the backyard of a Portland house in the 3900 block of NE 66th Avenue, June 9, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
A close-up of a bunker found in the backyard of a Portland house in the 3900 block of NE 66th Avenue, June 9, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

Gary Alan Lewis owns the home at 3934 NE 66th Avenue. Renee Sandidge-Crowell, 59, also lived at the home. Her disappearance is considered suspicious, authorities said.

Police have not been able to contact Lewis, 61, and detectives want to speak with him about the circumstances surrounding the dwelling.

Lewis is white, 6-feet-2 and about 190 pounds with gray hair and a gray beard.

Anyone with information about either Lewis or Sandidge-Crowell is asked to call 911.

The Investigation

Around 11 a.m. Saturday, police were sent to the house to check on the welfare of a person living there. But they soon called for homicide detectives to join them, and a police presence has been at the house since.

Tear gas was used in the area Saturday night and officials said the location had a number of “security features” that made it tough for the special tactics team to secure it.

It took until the early hours of Sunday for the site to be secure.

Police would not comment on Sunday on what exactly triggered the large police response. They remained tight-lipped on Monday.

An undated photo of Renee Sandidge released by the Portland Police Bureau on June 8, 2014
An undated photo of Renee Sandidge released by the Portland Police Bureau on June 8, 2014

Sunday morning, authorities said a Sandidge-Crowell was missing and was last seen at the home around 6 a.m. Saturday.

Sandidge is 5-feet-2 and about 100 pounds, with red hair and brown eyes. She was last seen walking, but it’s not known if she has access to a car.

Her disappearance is suspicious, authorities said in a release, because of “a number of factors discovered by Homicide Detectives.”

Court documents revealed that police and city inspectors have been to the home on NE 66th Avenue numerous times for a number of reasons. Those reasons ranged from code violations to a restraining order filed by Lewis’ wife against Sandidge-Crowell that was eventually dropped.

The Neighbors

Neighbors continue to wonder why the forensic team was at the scene all day on Monday.

Sandidge-Crowell was a tenant at the home, neighbor Jyl Smith told KOIN 6 News.

“She rented out the basement apartment at the home and there were landlord-tenant disputes,” she said.

Homicide detectives were called to the area of NE 65th and Failing in Portland, June 7, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
Homicide detectives were called to the area of NE 65th and Failing in Portland, June 7, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

“They’ve known each other for 30 years and he’s got an apartment set up in the basement, so he decided to do Section 8 housing,” neighbor Chris Mitchel said. “He’s different, nice enough guy, but definitely different.”

Neighbors described Lewis as a survivalist and showed KOIN 6 News a picture of a homemade bunker in his backyard — in the same area the forensics unit was scouring.

In the late 1970s and 1980s, Lewis served prison time for burglary and possession of a controlled substance, KOIN 6 News learned.

What is unclear is why police are looking for Lewis and Sandidge-Crowell, especially since Lewis’ wife and daughter also live at the house.

But they’re staying with friends, and Lewis’ wife came by the house on Monday to grab some personal belongings.

Neighbors said the last time they saw Lewis or Sandidge-Crowell was last week.

“We’d like to know what’s going on, we’d like to know is it safe, and when this is all going to end,” neighbor Jyl Smith told KOIN 6 News. “No one is really sleeping.”

Anyone with other information about this case should call Portland detectives at 503.823.9319

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.

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