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Detectives Arrest Suspect in 16-year-old Homicide

May 02, 2003 00:00


On Thursday, May 1, 2003, Homicide Detectives arrested 53-year-old Leon Lamont Phillips on six counts of Aggravated Murder in connection with the November 21, 1986 murder of 30-year-old Sara C. Zirbes. At the time of the murder, Zirbes lived in a home in North Portland, which was set on fire after the murder. Zirbes had been the victim of a sexual assault. The investigation was recently re-opened and Phillips was linked to the crime by a combination of forensic evidence and witness testimony. Phillips has spent the last 16 years in the custody of the Oregon State Penitentiary on unrelated charges. Phillips will be arraigned on Monday May 5, 2003. Photographs of both Phillips and Zirbes are available, via email, from the Portland Police Bureau Identification at (503) 823-0382. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Cheryl Kanzler at (503) 823-0865 or Detective Paul Weatheroy at (503) 823-0458. This investigation is continuing.


Media Relations:
Sgt. Pete Simpson
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Portland Police Bureau
1111 SW 2nd Ave, Suite 1526
Portland, Oregon 97204



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