Cold Case: Banker found strangled in apartment in 1997 - KPTV - FOX 12

Cold Case: Banker found strangled in apartment in 1997

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Dean Tahtinen was 30 years old and a successful banker when he was killed in January 1997.

"He was a shy, unassuming person with a pleasant personality," said George Young, a retired detective with the Portland Police Bureau, who now works for the Cold Case Unit.

Young said Tahtinen worked for Wells Fargo Bank at the time and his work took him to Phoenix, AZ, each week.

Investigators said Tahtinen was last seen on the evening of Jan. 4, 1997 at CC Slaughter's, a bar in the Old Town section of Portland. Police said no one saw Tahtinen leave with anyone.

"He did not show up for work on Monday morning," Young said. "His employer in Phoenix called his brother who was his contact person."

Police said his brother went to Tahtinen's apartment on Northeast Wygant Street to check on him. 

"He saw his body laying on the floor, saw that he was cold to the touch, immediately called police," Young said.

Cold case investigators said Tahtinen had been assaulted; the cause of death was strangulation. They said the apartment had been ransacked, but there was no sign of forced entry.

The working theory of initial detectives was Tahtinen met someone, who went home with him and attacked him.

Cold case investigators are now reviewing the unsolved murder.

"We're looking at some items that were moved, damaged, but I can't be more specific than that," Young said.

Tahtinen's family recently told police they continue to pray his murderer will be found and that time and technology may help close the case.

If you have any information about this crime, you can leave a Crime Stoppers tip online at, 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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