On August 29th, 1988, police responded to a welfare check at 2612 N. Holman, which was called in by the granddaughter of the occupants of that residence.
Police entered the residence where they discovered the bodies of Robert Wheatley, 61, and Frieda Wheatley, 69, in the basement. The medical examiner determined the cause of death as strangulation. Detectives believe that the Wheatley’s died on August 27th, 1988.
It is apparent from the crime scene that the motive was robbery. There was no sign of forced entry. The home was ransacked and a television set, ATM card, credit card and the Wheatley’s light green 1979 Buick Regal were stolen. The ATM and credit cards were used extensively in Northeast, North and Downtown Portland prior to the Wheatley’s bodies being discovered. The Buick was recovered a few days later in a Jantzen Beach Shopping Center parking lot.
Investigating Detectives believe that there are people in the community that have information about this crime. This case has generated stories in the Oregonian, prior Crime Stoppers media exposure, a press conference in 2006 with the family in attendance and an enhanced reward. It was a horrific crime that threatened an entire neighborhood and city. Peaceful people in their own house were robbed and killed in broad daylight. What were they doing? They were trying to sell their house!
Friends and family of the Wheatley’s still grieve. Neighbors still remember. Someone out there knows something that will help solve this case. That someone needs to come forward. Everyone involved wants to know, why did this happen?
If you or anyone you know has information about this case please call Crime Stoppers at 503-823-HELP (4357)