Cold case: 77-year-old Portland woman may have known her killer - KPTV - FOX 12

Cold case: 77-year-old Portland woman may have known her killer

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Cold case investigators have recently submitted evidence in a 1976 murder to the state crime lab in hopes of solving the killing of Grace Elliott.

At the time of her death, Elliott, 77, lived alone in southeast Portland.

Neighbors often checked in on the woman, who was newly widowed.

A neighbor discovered Elliott's body on the morning of May 3, 1976.

"He found the house had been ransacked," said Dick Pashley, a retired FBI agent reviewing cold cases for the Portland Police Bureau. "Grace was nowhere to be found on the main floor."

Elliot's body was in the basement. She'd been beaten and stabbed.

Based on the brutality of the assault, investigators say its possible Elliot knew her killer.

Pashley reviewed case details with Fox 12.

The night before her body was discovered, Elliott spoke to her sister-in-law on the phone at 9:15 p.m.

At 11:30 p.m., a neighbor noticed the curtains in Elliott's window, usually open, were shut tight.

Police think the killer got inside by breaking a basement window.

"It tells us that this person was small in stature," said Pashley. "And I suspect he's a person who stands out in the minds of people who know him as a person who could have done this."

The original detectives interviewed more than 100 people, but did not have enough evidence to charge anyone with murder.

Cold case investigators recently sent evidence to the state crime lap, hoping new technology will uncover new leads.

But they'd also like to hear from people who have information about what happened to Elliott, even those who spoke with police in 1976.

If you have any information about this crime, you can call Portland police at 503-823-0000 or leave a tip on the Portland police website.

You can also 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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