PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The call to police to check on the welfare of a person at a home in Northeast Portland was made by the daughter of the man now wanted for murder.
Neighbor Jyl Smith told KOIN 6 News the daughter of Gary Alan Lewis told her “she saw her dad dragging something under a tarp and she said she saw him carrying some bleach.”
That call was made early Saturday morning, and forensic investigators on Tuesday said they found a body on the property after a three-day search.
A tenant who lived at the house, Renee Sandidge-Crowell, was missing under suspicious circumstances, authorities said Sunday.
An autopsy has not yet been completed, but investigators believe it is the 59-year-old woman.
Tom Manwell, who lives in the neighborhood, told KOIN 6 News he saw Sandidge-Crowell alive and well in the driveway of the home early Saturday morning.
“She seemed like her normal self, a litte bit yelling and crazy,” Manwell said. “That’s the way she normally was, though. She was always like that.”
He said the reason he thought about selling his house wasn’t the underground bunker in the backyard of Lewis’ house or all the outbuildings. The reason he thought about selling was because of Sandidge-Crowell.
She lived in Lewis’ basement apartment for about a year, neighbors said, and knew Lewis from AA meetings years ago.
There were complaints to the city there was no heat in the basement and the ceilings were too low, KOIN 6 News learned.
Police arrived at the home early Saturday morning after that call to check on someone. Homicide detectives were soon brought in.
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.
The body of an adult woman — believed to be Sandidge-Crowell — wasn’t found until Tuesday afternoon.
An autopsy is expected to be complete on Thursday.
Portland police would not comment on the specifics of the case, but Sgt. Pete Simpson said, “There are times when people make it hard to discover crimes they have committed.”
Authorities are not saying where the woman’s remains were found, but neighbors pointed out a backyard shed where they said police cut out the walls.
Lewis, 61, has not been seen since Saturday. He is wanted for murder.
Anyone who sees Lewis is urged to call 911.
Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in this case. Tipsters can remain anonymous.