Despite packed crime scene, 2004 killing remains unsolved - KPTV - FOX 12

Despite packed crime scene, 2004 killing remains unsolved

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Portland police said 34-year-old Aaron Crews did not die an easy death.

"Within seconds, the mob turned on him," said Sgt. Rich Austria, a Portland police homicide detective.

Austria said it was about 2 a.m. on March 20, 2004, and Crews was with his girlfriend and some acquaintances at what was then Helena's Place, a restaurant on Northeast Columbia Boulevard that doubled as an after-hours nightclub.

While his friends were dancing, Crews had a confrontation with someone in the bar, an area police said was not visible from the dance floor.  The situation quickly escalated into a mob assault.

"There were about seven or eight that basically mobbed him, were beating him, throwing things at him," Austria said.  "We now know they were also stabbing him."

Police said Crews walked back to the dance floor, where he collapsed.

"An old-fashioned fight just isn't what it used to be," said Angela Golden, the victim's sister.  "It's senseless. It's stupid."

Golden was extremely close to her older brother and what galls her is the club was packed, police said, with as many as a hundred people.

"I can't believe it. It just blows your mind," said Golden.  "You know, no one can speak. No one says anything."

"We know who was involved in the confrontation. The difficult part for this investigation is who stabbed him?" said Austria.  "Everybody knew each other there to some extent. He was somewhat of an outsider. He didn't have a lot of people who would speak on behalf of him."

Speaking on his behalf now, Crews' mother and sister, who told stories of a smart, energetic boy who became a doting father to two girls.

Crews was Dolores Jones' first born.

"It's really hard, especially on his birthday, Jan. 14. I can't go to work that day. I just shut down," Jones said.

Investigators said there were gang members at the club and people may still fear coming forward. That's not a valid excuse for the victim's mother.

"Just not being labeled a snitch," she said. "We need in our community to get over that. People need closure and people need to be punished for what they do."

And police said all it would take is one witness to do the right thing.

If you have any information about this crime, 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.

Visit www.tipsoft.com to download the Crime Stoppers app for the iPhone or Droid.

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