Cold case investigators: Slain woman 'dropped out of the air' - KPTV - FOX 12

Cold case investigators: Slain woman 'dropped out of the air'

Posted: Updated: Jan 26, 2012 10:00 PM
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A young woman found dead in the street. No witnesses. No leads.

"It's like she just dropped out of the air," said retired Portland police homicide Detective Larry Findling.

Police say someone shot 21-year-old Ruby McLemore once in the heart.  It was Jan. 15, 1989, in the 300 block of northeast Holman Street.  Portland police cold case detectives say even back then, investigators had little to go on.

"Really don't know very much," said Detective Dave Simpson in an interview with FOX 12 at the time of the murder.  "A neighbor heard some shots, didn't see a car, didn't see anybody running from the area and then saw her lying in the middle of the street. He called the police and saw was taken to Emanuel Hospital where she was pronounced dead."

"They had no leads. No suspect information. No leads. Nothing to indicate why she was there, who shot her, why she was shot -- zip," said Findling.

 In 1989, investigators did have one credible tip -- an anonymous phone call.   A month after the murder, someone called police. 

It was the days before caller ID and officers couldn't trace the call, but the police said the information was credible and speculated the caller may have been a witness.

"Probably there was more than one person that saw what happened because the detective who listened to the phone call could hear someone else in the background talking. So, it's likely there was more than one person that witnessed the shooting," said Findling.

Now investigators are hoping those witnesses will come forward and shed some light on the mystery -- who killed Ruby McLemore and why.

There is still a reward in this case.

Anyone with information is urged to submit tips to CrimeTips@PortlandOregon.gov.

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