Daughters found safe after murder-suicide

47-year-old Ian Martin Elias took his own life in backyard of NE Portland home

Ian Elias, 47. (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)
Ian Elias, 47. (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — One woman was found dead in a Southwest Portland home Monday, a man died of a self-inflicted wound in a separate location and two girls who were missing in the incident were found safe.

Police said 47-year-old Ian Martin Elias took his own life in the backyard of a home in the 6700 block of Northeast 25th Ave., after his former wife, 46-year-old Nicolette Naomi Elias, was found dead at a home in the 4100 blcok of SW Brugger St.

Elias is believed to be the father of two girls aged eight and nine, who were taken from the house after gunshots were heard, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) said in a statement.

The two girls were found safe inside the home on NE 25th Ave., along  with another woman at roughly 11:30 a.m. by PPB Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT). It was at that same house Elias took his life in the backyard.

An armored Portland Police Department vehicle assisting in the search for two missing girls Nov. 10, 2014. (KOIN 6)
An armored Portland Police Department vehicle assisting in the search for two missing girls Nov. 10, 2014. (KOIN 6)

Ahmed Mohamud, a resident near the home in the 4100 block of SW Brugger St., said his wife called him shortly before 7 a.m. believing she had heard “five to six gunshots.” After hearing the shots, she witnessed two young girls chasing a person in “plaid pajamas” outside the residence, Mohamud said.

Mohamud said he called 911 after spotting a half-open door on the property.

What happened?

Around a dozen law enforcement units met at the house. A K-9 police dog, dispatched inside the home with a camera, ultimately found the body of a woman.

That search led them to the area of NE 25th and Dekum, where they suspected Elias fled to. As SERT arrived, the Elias walked out the back door of the home he was hiding in and shot himself, Portland Police Sgt. Peter Simpson said Monday around 12:30 p.m.

Domestic violence has not been ruled out.

Police are working with the Oregon Department of Human Services to place the girls in a safe home.

According to a statement from Portland State University(PSU), Nicolette Elias had worked as an office specialist in the Department of Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at PSU for nearly three years.

“She was a valued and dedicated member of our staff,” said Julie Bilski, department manager at the Department of Psychology. “Everyone cared about her.  She was a part of our family.”

At this time, there are no known memorial arrangements.

History of domestic abuse

A series of YouTube videos posted to a Facebook page attributed to Ian Elias depict numerous episodes of conflict involving Elias and a woman he identifies as his ex-wife, over his two children.

According to court documents, the two had a history of domestic violence stemming back to 2008.

“It’s unusual that someone is taping and argument and that there are so many video tapes that’s one thing that stands out,” said Annie Neal, the director for the Multnomah County’s Domestic Violence Coordination Office.

Neal pointed to Ian’s criminal history as a warning sign, and she said the fact that he was scheduled to appear in court this week for a violation of a stalking order could have triggered Monday’s attack.

“There’s so much of domestic violence that’s not just the physical acts of violence but coercion, intimidation, control over the victim’s daily life, and when the victim takes a step to really end the relationship, that can be seen as very threatening,” said Neal.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, there are numerous resources available:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

Portland Women’s Crisis Line

The Gateway Center for Domestic Violence Services 

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.

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