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Phone: 503-823-0000

Fax: 503-823-0342

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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December 22, 2001 00:00


Portland Police Homicide Detectives have determined that there are strong indications the homicide of Melissa Bittler is linked to a sexual assault that occurred on November 5, 1997. In the 1997 assault, the 14-year-old female victim was walking to school, the assault occurred at 8:30 a.m., and the victim was grabbed, pulled between two houses, and then sexually assaulted. In both assaults the crime occurred near a busy street.

In the 1997 assault, Detectives released a composite drawing of the suspect. Detectives believe the suspect in the 1997 assault, is also a suspect in the Melissa Bittler homicide. The composite drawing from the 1997 assault investigation is now being re-released in the hope that someone in the Portland metropolitan area will be able to identify the person.

In 1997, the suspect was described as a male black, 30-40 years of age, 5’9”-6’0”, medium build, dark complexion, bald or shaved head, with no known facial hair or glasses. This description is now four years old, the suspect may currently have a different hairstyle and may have gained or lost weight.

Portland Police Bureau Homicide Detectives are urging anyone with information in this investigation, call (503) 823-4731. This number is a 24-hour hotline ready to receive information that may assist detectives in this criminal investigation.

The composite drawing is also available from the Portland Police Bureau Identification Division (503) 823-0382.


Media Relations:
Sgt. Pete Simpson
Desk: 503-823-0830
Pager: 503-790-1779

Portland Police Bureau
1111 SW 2nd Ave, Suite 1526
Portland, Oregon 97204



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