Cold Case: Man beaten to death behind Plaid Pantry - KPTV - FOX 12

Cold Case: Man beaten to death behind Plaid Pantry

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A man was beaten to death behind a North Portland convenience store in 2007 and the killer has still not been identified.

Robert Borges, 50, was found unconscious behind the Plaid Pantry on North Lombard near North Greeley around 1:50 a.m. on May 15, 2007.

He'd been struck in the head several times and died several hours later at a Portland hospital.

Borges lived on the streets by choice, according to family members, who said he liked to bring food and blankets to friends he made in the homeless community.

“He just felt the urge to help them in any way he could,” David Borges, the victim's brother, told Fox 12 in 2007.

But after Borges was killed, his family worried that charity cost him his life.

An autopsy found he died from blunt force trauma to the head and had four times the legal amount of alcohol in his system when he was attacked, rendering him defenseless.

“His condition was such that he would not have been able to defend himself,” said Dick Pashley, a volunteer in the Portland Police Bureau's Cold Case Homicide Unit.

“And the brutality of that was beyond anything that would seem justified based upon his inability to strike back and also based upon the fact that he had nothing,” he said.

Pashley said Borges was involved in a confrontation outside the Plaid Pantry hours before his death.

Around 10 p.m. on May 14, Borges showed up at the store, bought some beer and sat in the parking lot. He left a plastic bag full of desserts for his friends inside the store.

“He was encountered by thre young males who began harassing him, berating him, trying to intimidate him,” said Pashley.

Borges went back into the store, grabbed his bag and left, walking south of Greeley.

The group of young men, now joined by a woman, were walking south on Greeley, away from Borges, and the groups yelled at each other, said Pashley.

Borges was attacked a short time later.

The original investigators identified several potential suspects, but did not identify which suspect was responsible for the deadly blow.

“He had a lot of contacts in that north Portland neighborhood and among those people there are others who possibly could have been responsible in some way for contributing to his death,” said Pashley.

Investigators would like to hear from anyone who can identify which of the several suspects is responsible for killing Borges. 

Witnesses who did not strike Borges can contact the Cold Case Unit to arrange interviews, said Pashley.

If you have any information about this crime, contact investigator Dick Pashley at or Sgt. Cory Roberts at

You can call Portland police at 503-823-0000 or leave a tip on the Portland police website.

You can also leave an anonymous 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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