On June 10, 2003, around 4 a.m., a security guard made a gruesome discovery -- a woman's body slumped in a doorway of a downtown Portland building.
A friend of the victim recalled that Christine Lawson had prophetically talked of her own death just days before.
"She told me she didn't think she was going to live anymore. She didn't think she was going to make it 'til the next day," the unnamed friend told FOX 12 in 2003. "I said, 'Why are you talking like that?' She said, 'I don't think I'm going to make it.'"
Lawson had lived a solitary life; drugs had taken hold of the 43-year-old woman. So much so, Cold Case detectives said, she turned to prostitution to pay for crack cocaine.
"Her drug habits and the things she'd done in her life, she felt like it was closing in on her and it was going to get her," her friend recalled.
"She had fallen into some bad habits, such as ripping people off for the drugs, not paying for them. So, that's a possibility," said retired Detective Dennis Baker, who recently reviewed the case.
Lawson's body was found at a building on Northwest Second Avenue near Burnside Street. Police believe she died of blunt force trauma and strangulation and that her body was dumped in the Old Town location.
Shortly after the murder, investigators identified a person of interest.
"There was evidence that she was killed at another location and that was at the west end of the Steel Bridge," Baker said. "The person of interest was named by the witness to the crime, was present during the crime and saw this person murdered."
But police said the witness's story needed corroboration. The person of interest, Carl Lee Simington, a man police said traded drugs with Lawson, was never arrested in connection with the case.
Today, Lawson's photo looks down from a billboard in southeast Portland -- a cold case murder victim still waiting for justice.
"She was really sweet, you know what I mean," her friend recalled.
If you have any information about this crime or Carl Lee Simington, you can leave a Crime Stoppers tip online at www.crimestoppersoforegon.com, text CRIMES (274637) and in the subject line put 823HELP, followed by your tip, or call 503-823-HELP (4357) and leave your tip information.
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