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Backyard bunker described in missing persons case

by: PORTLAND POLICE BUREAU - Gary Alan LewisPolice are investigating a Northeast Portland house where two people have disappeared under mysterious circumstances and a bunker was reportedly built in the backyard, according to KOIN 6 News.

Neither of the people has been seen since early Saturday.

They are Gary Alan Lewis, 61, owns the home at 3934 N.E .66th Ave., and Renee Sandidge-Crowell, 59, who also lived at the home.

Sandidge-Crowell's disappearance is considered suspicious, authorities said.

A neighbor tells KOIN 6 News a bunker was built in the back yard.

Crime scene investigators remained at the house two days after first arriving to do a welfare check on a person.

Police have not been able to contact Lewis, 61, and detectives want to speak with him about the circumstances surrounding the dwelling.

Lewis is white, 6-feet-2 and about 190 pounds with gray hair and a gray beard.

by: PORTLAND POLICE BUREAU - Rene Sandridge-CrowellSandidge-Crowell is 5-feet-2 and about 100 pounds, with red hair and brown eyes. She was last seen walking, but it’s not known if she has access to a car.

Anyone with information about either Lewis or Sandidge-Crowell is asked to call 911.

The Investigation

Acoording to police, around 11 a.m. on June 7, police were sent to the house to check on the welfare of a person living there. But they soon called for homicide detectives to join them, and a police presence has been at the house since.

by: KOIN NEWS 6 - Possible bunker in back yard of house where two people are missing.Tear gas was used in the area Saturday night and officials said the location had a number of “security features” that made it tough for the special tactics team to secure it.

It took until the early hours of Sunday for the site to be secure.

Police would not comment on Sunday on what exactly triggered the large police response. They remained tight-lipped on Monday.

Police say Sandidge-Crowell's disappearance is suspicious because of “a number of factors discovered by Homicide Detectives.”

The Neighbors

Neighbors continue to wonder why the forensic team was at the scene all day.

Sandidge-Crowell was a tenant at the home, neighbor Jyl Smith told KOIN 6 News.

“She rented out the basement apartment at the home and there were landlord-tenant disputes,” she said.

“They’ve known each other for 30 years and he’s got an apartment set up in the basement, so he decided to do Section 8 housing,” neighbor Chris Mitchel said. “He’s different, nice enough guy, but definitely different.”

Neighbors described Lewis as a survivalist and showed KOIN 6 News a picture of a homemade bunker in his backyard — in the same area the forensics unit is scouring.

In the late 1970s and 1980s, Lewis served prison time for burglary and possession of a controlled substance, KOIN 6 News learned.

What is unclear is why police are looking for Lewis and Sandidge-Crowell, especially since Lewis’ wife and daughter also live at the house.

But they’re staying with friends, and Lewis’ wife came by the house on Monday to grab some personal belongings.

Neighbors said the last time they saw Lewis or Sandidge-Crowell was last week.

“We’d like to know what’s going on, we’d like to know is it safe, and when this is all going to end,” neighbor Jyl Smith told KOIN 6 News.

Anyone with other information about this case should call Portland detectives at 503.823.9319