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Cold Case Unit Resolves 1976 Case

April 28, 2009 00:00

  

The Portland Police Bureau’s Cold Case Homicide Unit and the Oregon State Police Crime Laboratory have solved the 1976 murder of Rosa Cinnamon. This is the oldest homicide solved by Portland’s Cold Case Unit and the oldest DNA hit ever obtained by the OSP Crime Laboratory.

Rosa Cinnamon was 80 years old at the time of her death, and was murdered between the hours of 8:00 p.m. on April 24, 1976, and 9:20 a.m. on April 25, 1976. The victim was found by her son-in-law in her apartment, which was located at 5034 Southeast 75th Avenue on the morning of April 25, 1976. The Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Rosa Cinnamon had died from asphyxia due to manual strangulation. The case was assigned to Portland Police Homicide Detectives Emil Bladow and Melvin Walker and both of these detectives have since retired. This case was never solved and eventually it was assigned to the Cold Case Unit.

In 2007, Multnomah County District Attorney Investigator Robbie Thompson resubmitted evidence from the crime scene to the OSP Crime Laboratory. Investigator Thompson was assigned to the Cold Case Unit at the time she resubmitted the evidence. In January, 2008, investigators were notified that the lab had located a DNA match from the evidence that had been resubmitted. The DNA profile led investigators to Edward Delon Warren who had died in 2003 while incarcerated at the Oregon State Penitentiary. Warren was serving two life sentences for the murders of Ricky Dale Hemphill and Charla Thompson. These murders occurred in 1979 in Gold Beach, Oregon.

After the DNA match, the case was assigned to retired Detective Mike Stahlman. Stahlman is working on a part-time basis for the Cold Case Unit as part of a federal grant that pays for seven part-time employees to assist full-time Cold Case Detectives. Stahlman was able to determine that Warren was responsible for the 1976 murder of Rosa Cinnamon and the Multnomah County Districts Attorney’s Office has closed the case. It appears that Warren was living temporarily in Rosa Cinnamon’s neighborhood and did not have any connection to her. Investigators were able to determine that Warren forced his way into the victim’s residence and murdered her.

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