Victim identified from remains found in bag
- Erin Shea
- Gresham Outlook - News
Police have identified the suspected homicide victim whose body parts were discovered in the Columbia River and on two Washington beaches earlier this week.
The victim, Portland resident Douglas Adamson, 52, had been listed with the Portland Police Bureau as a missing person.
Multnomah County detectives first began looking for clues in the bizarre case after human remains were found in a duffle bag floating down the Columbia River on Sunday, Sept 17.
Things got even stranger when an arm and a leg turned up later, Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, along two Washington beaches.
The circumstances surrounding Adamson's death are unknown, but an autopsy by the Multnomah County Medical Examiner on Tuesday, Sept. 19, revealed that he has been dead for three or four weeks.
From the autopsy results, the medical examiner determined that the victim was a white adult male, approximately 6 feet tall, and 275-285 pounds, but police knew little else at that time.
Multnomah County detectives launched an investigation into the case after a couple fishing on the Columbia near the east end of Government Island saw a suspicious black athletic bag floating down the river Sunday evening, said Lt. Jason Gates, Multnomah County Sheriff's Office spokesman.
The couple led representatives from the sheriff's office River Patrol Unit to where they had left the foul-smelling bag, but it had been swept downstream by the current. Officials eventually located the bag near the Interstate 205 bridge.
Deputies found human remains in the bag, along with evidence that the victim had been murdered, Gates said.
Three days later, a woman walking her dog spotted an arm on a beach in Vancouver, Wash.
Following the second discovery, divers and teams with cadaver dogs scoured the area for additional evidence that could help officers determine the victim's identity, Gates said.
'The focus of the investigation has obviously changed now that we have a victim,' said Gates. 'That gives us a lot of information.'
Then, on Thursday, a maintenance worker found a human leg on a Washington beach approximately a half-mile east of the I-205 bridge.
'In all likelihood the arm and the leg belong to the remains that were found last Sunday and are not separate cases,' Gates said.
Portland Police Bureau detectives are investigating the incident.
Anyone with information about this case, or who may have seen someone place a large black duffle bag in the Columbia River, should call Detective Brian Steed at 503-823-0395, or Ken Whattam at 503-823-0696.