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Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

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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January 24, 2002 00:00


On January 24, 2002, Ralph Pedar Sewell pled guilty to one count of Abuse of Corpse in the Second Degree. On September 24, 2000, Sewell and 41-year-old Darryl Carter were in Sewell’s apartment in the 1500 block of SE Ash when Carter died of a heroin overdose. Sewell was attempting to remove Carter’s body from the apartment when both he and Carter’s body rolled down the stairs. Sewell, who was injured during the fall down the stairs, left Carter’s body wedged between the stairs and the doorway because he required medical attention after falling down the stairway.

One day later, police were called to the scene and discovered Carter’s body. Homicide Detectives were called to the scene and conducted an investigation only to later determine that Carter died of a drug overdose.

Each year several individuals die of drug overdoses. Often these people are discarded or abandon by acquaintances, sometimes when medical assistance could still be called to possibly save their life. When these bodies are discovered, substantial resources are expended only to later learn that the deceased died of an overdose.

The Portland Police Bureau strongly suggests that any time you encounter a dead body you not move or touch the body, immediately call 9-1-1, and that you be remain at the scene to assist law enforcement.

Drug abuse can have devastating consequences to both families and the community. These problems are only compounded when deceased persons, who die of drug overdoses are left abandoned.


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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