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Arrest made in cold case murder investigation

Samuel Lee Etheridge charged in 15-year-old case

Police have made an arrest in a 15-year-old murder case.

On Monday, April 30, Portland Police Bureau Cold Case Homicide Unit detectives arrested 46-year-old Samuel Lee Etheridge, 46. He is charged with killing 59-year-old John Frederick Phillips at an apartment located in the 3900 block of North Albina Avenue on May 4, 1997.

According to police, Ethridge was arrested Monday in Dare County, North Carolina, with the assistance of the Dare County Sheriff's Office. At the time of his arrest, Etheridge was living in Wanchese, North Carolina.

Cold Case detectives obtained an arrest warrant for murder in Multnomah County for Etheridge's arrest. The detectives began investigating the case in January 2012. During the investigation, the detectives discovered new information that allowed them to obtain the arrest warrant for Etheridge.

As of Tuesday, Etheridge remained in the Dare County Detention Center awaiting extradition to Oregon.

The Portland Police Bureau Cold Case Homicide Unit is comprised of a sergeant and four detectives who are assisted by several retired investigators who volunteer their time and are now working under a federal grant sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Institute for Justice.

The Portland Police Bureau Cold Case Homicide Unit has a close partnership with the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office and the Oregon State Police Crime Lab.

The Portland Police Bureau Cold Case Homicide Unit's slogan is: "We don't give up. We never give up."

The Portland Police Bureau has nearly 300 unsolved murders dating back to 1969.