Cold Case: Masked men kill seafood market owner - KPTV - FOX 12

Cold Case: Masked men kill seafood market owner

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It was a normal business day like any other when two brothers opened their Portland seafood market on the morning of Sept. 8, 1983.

But within a few hours, one brother would be dead, the other in the hospital.

Portland police cold case homicide investigators said about 9:30 a.m., two masked men walked into the Sea Sands Seafood Market in the 800 block of Southeast Belmont Street and shot the store owners.

"Just after they came in, one of the brothers, Joseph Jaha, tried to fight them," said cold case investigator George Young. "They engaged in a short scuffle and he was shot."

Police said the men then ran out of the market. 

There were several witnesses in the area who saw the men without their masks. They described them as white men, 20 to 30 years old. The taller suspect had dark, stringy hair and the shorter suspect had sandy-colored hair.

Investigators said informants have provided information about the killing over the years. Police said the informants told them the shooting may have been accidental, but the robbery was likely planned. 

Investigators said the suspects may have had inside information about the business and knew there were items of value in the store safe. 

The surviving brother has since died, but police said their grandchildren are still seeking justice in 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.

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

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