June 16th marks 2 unsolved homicides in Portland

Undated file photo of a Portland Police Bureau squad car. (KOIN)
Undated file photo of a Portland Police Bureau squad car. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Detectives are trying to solve two murders that happened on this date 27 and 39 years ago.

Wilbur Jones, 58, was found dead inside his apartment complex June 16, 1975 in the 6800 block of Northeast Union Avenue, which was eventually renamed Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Officers said in the early afternoon hours, the apartment manager knocked on Jones’ door, but no one answered. The manager entered the apartment complex and found Jones dead, and the residence in disarray.

Detectives said Jones had been beaten and died from a traumatic neck injury.

During the investigation, officers learned that Jones was an excessive drinker and was in “poor general health,” police said. Officers said he required either a wheelchair or a walking cane to help him move.

A neighbor reported seeing a man at the door to Jones’ apartment around 12:30 a.m. on the day of the murder.

The case has not been solved, and detectives would like to talk with anyone who has information on the killing.

Meanwhile on June 16, 1987, residents living at an apartment complex at 230 Northeast 100th Avenue became concerned about the welfare of another resident after they had not heard from him in some time, police said.

The owner of the complex entered the unit and found Jose Martinez, 29, dead. The medical examiner ruled his death was a result of blunt force trauma.

Martinez was a waiter at a local Mexican restaurant, police said. Investigators have taken reports from people who knew Martinez that he was cocaine user and sometimes trafficked the drug.

“He was a self-admitted bisexual who was described as being friendly, flirtatious, and liked to party with both men and women in his apartment,” police said.

Witnesses reported hearing odd noises around 8 – 10 a.m. on June 16, 1987.

The case remains unsolved.

If you know anything about these two homicides, you are asked to call the Portland Police Bureau at 503-823-0400 or CrimeSt

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