Cold Case: Dismembered remains wash up in Columbia River - KPTV - FOX 12

Detectives hope for tips in 2006 case where body parts washed ashore

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Doug Adamson was an imposing figure at 6 feet tall, 270 pounds.  His brother said Doug was a bear of a man, with a heart just as big.

"Doug and I pretty much grew up in a little town called Battle Mountain, NV," Steven Adamson said.

In early September 2006, Steven hadn't heard from his brother in a while. At first he said he didn't worry. Doug had gone off for a few days at a time before. But then on Sept. 6, Doug's roommate reported him missing.

About 10 days later, there was an unnerving and gruesome discovery.

A couple reported to police they had found a large, mysterious bag, floating near the east end of Government Island.

"When they opened it up on the boat, there was a human torso, legs, arms and head (that) had all been cut off," said Bryan Steed, Portland police cold case homicide detective.

Investigators said the cause of death was stab wounds.

But who was the victim? It wasn't until a limb was found on the Washington side that the medical examiner made a positive identification.

"People walking on Whintler Beach find a human arm, basically from the shoulder down," Steed said.

Fingerprints and a tattoo revealed the remains were 52-year-old Doug Adamson.

A few days later, police said another arm and a leg were found. But what police didn't have was the scene of the crime.

From where the body parts washed up, they suspect Adamson's remains were dumped from a boat ramp or from a boat in the middle of the Columbia river.

But police did have the black duffel bag, with a distinctive logo, that read "World Famous."

In 2008, the true-crime show, America's Most Wanted, ran the Adamson case and detectives received a few tips.

"Among those tips were a couple that mentioned this bag was a common type bag used by drug traffickers from Canada to the U.S. to bring marijuana in, cause it's the size of the bag. It's a big bag," Steed said. "There were other tips that indicate a biker involvement."

Adamson was a mechanic by trade, but detectives said he was acquainted with people who were known traffickers of meth and other drugs.

Detectives believe more than one person killed and dismembered Adamson, and that others know what happened.

Phone records show Adamson was at the Queen of Hearts Tavern at Southeast 72nd and Harold on September 7, 2006.

But he was never heard from again.

"I'm just looking for help from the public. Somebody knows what happened to Doug," said Steed.

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.

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

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