05-24-2018  2:46 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Attorney General Forms Hate Crime Task Force

The task force will study hate-motivated crimes and review existing legal protections for victims ...

Portland Art Museum Celebrates Art Museum Day with Free Admission on May 25

Portland Art Museum joins art museums across North America, with great works of art and public programs ...

June Key Delta Community Center Hosts May Week ’18 Health Fair May 26

Event includes vision, glucose screenings, medication disposal and car seat installation ...

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Amazon: Echo device sent conversation to family's contact

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon says an "unlikely" string of events prompted its Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family's private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle.The woman told KIRO-TV that two weeks ago an employee of her husband...

Attorney general issues ballot title for assault weapons ban

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's attorney general has released a certified ballot title for an initiative that would restrict the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in the state.The title released Wednesday revises the draft caption following comments from the public and the...

Power outages temporarily halt flights at Sea-Tac Airport

SEATTLE (AP) — Officials say scattered power outages halted some flights on the south side of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.KOMO-TV reports airport spokesman Perry Cooper said after 12:30 p.m. Thursday that flights were slowly resuming.Airport officials said on Twitter that all power...

Amazon: Echo device sent conversation to family's contact

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon says an "unlikely" string of events prompted its Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family's private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle.The woman told KIRO-TV that two weeks ago an employee of her husband...

OPINION

Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

NFL's policy could mean a new playbook on protests this fall

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Now that the NFL is drawing the line against players kneeling during the national anthem, athletes protesting police brutality and racial inequality may need to find a new playbook.The question is whether they intend to escalate their protests in some way."The owners can...

Court: School can let trans students use bathroom of choice

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Pennsylvania school district can allow transgender students to continue using bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their sexual identity, a federal appeals court panel ruled Thursday.A three-judge panel heard extended arguments in the case before conferring...

Body camera video is latest setback for Milwaukee police

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Body camera video showing police using a stun gun on an NBA player over a parking violation is just the latest setback for efforts to improve the strained relationship between Milwaukee officers and the city's black population.The confrontation involving Milwaukee Bucks...

ENTERTAINMENT

Scenes cut from 'Show Dogs' over resemblance to sexual abuse

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two scenes are being cut from the family movie "Show Dogs" after complaints that they resemble real-life sexual abuse, the movie's distributor has announced.In the movie, a police dog goes undercover at a dog show to catch animal smugglers.In one scene, the dog is told to...

Stoner comedy pioneer Tommy Chong still toking, joking at 80

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Yeah man, Tommy Chong says he always knew he'd live to see the day marijuana legalization would be sweeping America.He knew when he and partner Cheech Marin pioneered stoner comedy 50 years ago, a time when taunting the establishment with constant reminders that they...

Paltrow: Brad Pitt threatened Harvey Weinstein

NEW YORK (AP) — Gwyneth Paltrow says ex-boyfriend Brad Pitt threatened producer Harvey Weinstein after an alleged incident of sexual misconduct.The 45-year-old actress told "The Howard Stern Show" on Wednesday she was "blindsided." Paltrow claimed she was 22 when Weinstein placed his hands...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

MLB panel says baseballs getting extra lift, cause unknown

NEW YORK (AP) — Baseballs really have been getting extra lift since 2015, and it's not from the exaggerated...

Body camera video is latest setback for Milwaukee police

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Body camera video showing police using a stun gun on an NBA player over a parking...

Bus driver charged in crash that killed student, teacher

A school bus driver with a history of driver's license suspensions caused a fatal crash on a New Jersey highway...

Israel defense chief plans 2,500 new West Bank settler homes

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister said Thursday he will seek approval next week to fast-track...

Cyclone Mekunu pounds Yemen island on its path to Oman

SALALAH, Oman (AP) — Cyclone Mekunu roared over the Yemeni island of Socotra in the Arabian Sea on its way...

Saudi Arabia releases 3 women as other activists still held

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi authorities have released three prominent women's rights...

Martha Marie Morrison
By Christen McCurdy | The Skanner News

Martha Marie Morrison was just 17 when she disappeared. In October of 1974, hunters discovered a skeleton buried in a shallow grave in the hills of rural Clark County – which were positively identified with DNA testing as Morrison’s last year.

At the time of her disappearance, Morrison had been living in Portland with her boyfriend and had not been in close contact with her family, so relatives were not able to provide investigators with many details about her life. But deputies working with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office are asking for public help with the case – and specifically, they’re looking for more information about Morrison’s boyfriend at the time of her disappearance. Information released by the Clark County Sheriff’s Department’s cold case unit says her boyfriend -- who is described as a light-skinned African American man who was between five-feet-seven and five-feet-ten inches tall -- is not a suspect in the case.

“It’s been nagging us for 40-some years,” Clark County special deputy Dennis Hunter told The Skanner.

Morrison’s sister – who died, apparently of natural causes, shortly after Morrison’s remains were identified – told investigators that in 1973 Morrison participated in a job training program in Phoenix. There she met her boyfriend and the two of them moved to Portland, where her boyfriend is believed to have worked as an iron worker or welder in the ship yards. Morrison’s sister apparently met Morrison’s boyfriend when the two passed through Eugene on a bus trip from Phoenix to Portland, but was only able to provide a cursory description to investigators – and they couldn’t remember his name.

“In terms of a vague background picture, this is as vague as we’ve ever seen,” Hunter said.

According to information released by the sheriff’s office, after her disappearance Morrison’s boyfriend contacted her mother and father to ask if anyone had seen her. Family members said he told them that they had had an argument, and that a neighbor had told him he saw her leave with her belongings after they left for work. Her boyfriend then went to the Eugene/Springfield area to check places they had seen together during her visit.

martha morrison flyerFlyer distributed. Courtesy of the Clark County Sheriff's office.A flyer distributed by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and written from Morrison’s perspective says her boyfriend was “the only person who looked for me after I disappeared.” Investigators say family members have told them Morrison’s early life was tumultuous, resulting in her being placed in foster care as well as a stint at the Corvallis Farm School, from which she ran away. She was White with brown hair, weighed about 140 pounds and had bad psoriasis everywhere but her face. Family members remembered she enjoyed playing guitar and singing in coffee shops in the Eugene area, and that she knew American Sign Language because her mother was deaf.

The sheriff’s office is working in conjunction with the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct to distribute information about Morrison and her boyfriend throughout the North Portland area. Investigators don’t know what part of Portland Morrison lived in at the time of her disappearance, but have speculated they lived near the Swan Island area due to her partner’s job.

Hunter told The Skanner investigators are looking at other cases similar to Morrison’s to see if there may be connections between the crimes.

“In the period of 1971 to 1974, we have eight or nine cases of young girls either being homicide victims or disappearing and never being seen again, so we’re looking at all of those in conjunction with Martha’s case,” Hunter said. But without more information about Morrison’s case in particular, it’s hard to say whether there is any link between the cases.

Hunter said investigators are hoping a landlord, neighbor, coworker or someone else who may remember Morrison or her boyfriend will be able to come forward with a little more information about the case.

Those with information about Morrison’s case are encouraged to call the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case tip line at (360) 397-2036 or Crime Stoppers of Oregon at (503)283-HELP (4357). It is offering a reward of up to $2,500 cash for information leading to an arrest in my murder. 

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