Portland killer gets 11 years in 1988 slaying

Walter Wayne Howard was arrested in 2014

Walter Wayne Howard, October 2015 (KOIN)
Walter Wayne Howard, October 2015 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Walter Wayne Howard, who admitted killing a woman in 1988, was sentenced to 11 years in prison Tuesday.

The death of Renee Harvey went unsolved for about 27 years until DNA evidence connected Howard to the crime. Harvey, who was 25, was found dead in her apartment at 611 SE 27th Avenue in Portland.

The 60-year-old was arrested in San Diego in November 2014 and extradited to Oregon.

An undated photo of Renee Harvey. (Portland Police Bureau)
An undated photo of Renee Harvey. (Portland Police Bureau)

Investigators believe Howard broke into Harvey’s apartment on Jan. 11, 1988.

Current PPB cold case detective Meredith Hopper, the lead investigator on the case, testified in October 2015 that a VCR, earrings and VHS tape were reported stolen. Davidson said Harvey believed that her upstairs neighbor, Howard, was responsible for the burglary.

“She (Harvey) was very afraid of her upstairs neighbor who was later identified as Walter Wayne Howard,” Hopper said.

Detectives learned that after the burglary, Harvey had plans to move because she was so fearful.

She stayed with friends the next few nights and put down a deposit on a new apartment on Jan. 15, 1988. Later that night a friend discovered her body and called police.

According to her friends, Harvey was a single woman who worked as a receptionist and secretary for the Oregon Special Olympics. She had recently moved to Portland from Montana and attended church at the Unitarian Church where she was a member of the choir.

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