The Clark County (WA) Sheriff's Office Cold Case Unit, in cooperation with Crime Stoppers of Oregon, is asking for the public's help in locating a man who was the boyfriend of a 17-year-old Portland girl whose body was found in rural Clark County in late 1974.
Detectives looking into the 41-year-old murder think the man could have information that could help them piece together the last days and hours of Martha Marie Morrison's life. "The man is not a suspect," said Special Deputy Dennis Hunter. Morrison family members told authorities that the young man visited them in Eugene, Oregon, hoping to find Martha just after she disappeared.
Detectives are asking for the public's help because Martha's family members cannot remember the young man's name; they met him only briefly in Summer 1974 and several weeks later when he was looking for her. They do remember he was slender, between 5-feet 7-inches and 5-feet 10-inches tall and might have been African American. He said he was going to work as a welder in a Portland shipyard or dock.
Martha met the young man at a job-training program in or near Phoenix, Arizona, when she was living with relatives there. The two drove through Eugene on their way to Portland that summer, but family members did not know where they lived in Portland.
The couple had an argument, and after he went to work, Martha was seen leaving their apartment with some belongings. Her body was found about two months later in a shallow grave in the Dole Valley area of East Clark County.
Martha was about 5-feet 4-inches tall and weighed about 140 pounds. She had thick, long brown hair and bad psoriasis everywhere except her face. She frequented coffee houses, where she would sing or play guitar. She was proficient in American Sign Language.
Photos of Martha are courtesy of the Morrison Family.
Crime Stoppers of Oregon is asking for any tips about the former boyfriend and/or Martha's disappearance and homicide.
Crime Stoppers of Oregon offers cash rewards for information, reported to Crime Stoppers, that leads to an arrest in any unsolved felony crime and tipsters can remain anonymous.
Information about unsolved homicides can lead to a reward of up to $2,500 cash. All other unsolved felony crimes are eligible for cash rewards of up to $1,000.
Information learned from social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or YouTube should be shared as these tips may lead to the identification of a suspect or suspects. Links can be shared anonymously through Crime Stoppers.