Who killed 11-year-old Joshua Jeffries in 2001?

Police: No motive ever discovered in the murder of Joshua Jeffries

Joshua Jeffries, 11, shown in an undated photo released by Portland Police Cold Case Homicide detectives.
Joshua Jeffries, 11, shown in an undated photo released by Portland Police Cold Case Homicide detectives.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — As a man worked on his computer shortly before dawn on August 10, 2001, he heard a noise that sounded like a gunshot.

The noise came from a cottage-style house in Portland’s Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood. Chaos set in as screams for help overpowered the sounds of barking dogs.

Inside the home, sheltered by mature trees, and just a few blocks from Meriwether Lewis Elementary School, an 11-year-old boy slept.

Joshua Michael Jeffries is remembered by family as a good kid who everyone loved.

As those inside slept, police believe someone walked through an unlocked backdoor. The person carried a gun and went to Jeffries room. Police said it was very likely Jeffries was sleeping in his bed when the mystery person pulled the trigger.

The man on his computer heard someone yell “call 911,” police said.

The red and blue lights coming from the squad cars illuminated Southeast 48th – the street Jeffries once played on with friends.

His death puzzles detectives.

They have never released any information on a suspect, person of interest or motive.

An autopsy revealed that Jeffries had been shot once. According to police, investigators initially thought he had been stabbed.

Jeffries had numerous friends, many of them around his own age and who lived nearby, police said. He had just completed the sixth grade, and there was no indication that he used drugs or alcohol, police said. He had no criminal record, and police said there’s no evidence he was involved in any gang activity.

Investigators don’t know who would want to kill Jeffries. They found no feuds or threats directed toward him.

The case remains an active investigation for members of the Portland Police Bureau Cold Case Homicide Unit.

Detectives believe there are people who have information in this murder who have not come forward.

If you have any information regarding this homicide, you are encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at 503-823-HELP

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