Cold case: Portland bartender found beaten to death in his bedro - KPTV - FOX 12

Cold case: Portland bartender found beaten to death in his bedroom

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Who killed Vernon Anton and why?

Those questions remain unsolved, decades after he was killed in his home on Northeast Prescott.

The soft-spoken unemployed bartender was last seen at a bar called the Taurus on December 13, 1977.

Three days later, a relative of Anton's roommate came to check on the mail and found Anton's body.

The 57-year-old man was in bed, partially clothed and had been beaten with a blunt object.

The lights were on in the house, suggesting the murder happened at night.

“Whether the suspect as waiting for him when Mr. Anton came home or broke in during the night while he was asleep, there's no way to know,” said Mike Stahlman, a retired Portland Police detective who volunteers with the Cold Case Homicide Unit.

Stahlman said the back door of the house was pried open and a screen was removed from a window. Those are signs someone broke into the house but nothing was taken from the home or from Anthon.

“It suggests that the person went there to have it out with him, is how it looks,” Stahlman said.

Investigators never identified a suspect.

They interviewed Anton's friends and acquaintances but never learned of any significant issues or troubles he had with people.

Anton's roommate was out of town.

Stahlman urges anyone with information about Anton and his activities in the days before his murder to contact cold case investigators.

“The more time that passes, the less likely we'll ever hear anything,” he said. “Not just the name of who did it, but anything that could...shed more light on this case.”

If you have any information about this crime, contact Sgt. Cory Roberts at (503) 823-0848 or cory.roberts@portlandoregon.gov. You can also leave a tip on the Portland police website

You can also leave a Crime Stoppers tip online at 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.

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