Gresham Police Dept
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News Releases
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Dogged Determination and DNA Technology, Gresham Police Make Arrest in 1980 Cold Case Homicide - 06/08/21

Using DNA technology not available to detectives in the 1980s, Gresham Police have identified a Troutdale man as the suspect in the city’s oldest cold case homicide.  Robert Plympton, 58, was arrested by detectives during a surveillance mission earlier today. Investigators allege Plympton is responsible for the murder of 19-year-old Barbara Mae Tucker, 41 years ago.

 

Tucker was a sophomore at Mt. Hood Community College at the time, studying business.  Walking to an evening class on January 15, 1980, she was seen running onto Northeast Kane Dr. from the wooded area on the west edge of campus. At the time, multiple witnesses driving by recalled thinking the young woman was waiving at someone and trying to get people’s attention, but did not stop. A witness saw a man emerge from the shrubs and led her back toward campus.  A fellow student found Tucker’s lifeless body in some nearby bushes the following morning.  The medical examiner determined Tucker had been sexually assaulted and beaten to death.  

 

For more than four decades, police were unable to clearly identify a suspect, make an arrest, or charge anyone for the gruesome act. 

 

However, based on physical evidence from the original crime scene, modern advances in DNA technology, DNA ancestory databases and research and analysis by Parabon NanoLabs, LLC, they recently made a DNA profile match that furthered the case and led to Plympton’s arrest. 

“These ‘cold cases’ are not lost or forgotten for our department,” Chief Claudio Grandjean noted. “Each one represents a person to our officers, and their tragic stories are passed down through the generations in hopes of one day bringing honor to their names and a sense of justice and closure to their cases.”

 

Although Barbara Tucker’s case is not completely closed yet, Plympton’s arrest marks the waypoint to clearing the oldest unsolved homicide from Gresham Police’s cold case files. 

 

“I’m proud of our detectives, especially Detective Aaron Turnage, and criminalist Deanna Grossi who have worked this case for so many years.  And I’m hopeful this development will help Barbara’s family and our community heal,” Chief Grandjean added.

 

Anyone who has additional information about this case or other unsolved homicides is asked to call Detective Aaron Turnage at 503-618-3136.

 

 

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Attached Media Files: RP.png
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Located- Gresham Police Seek Help Locating Missing Man (Photo) - 06/04/21

Gresham, Ore. – Gresham Police is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a missing 57-year-old man.  Tyrone Blocker was last seen yesterday around 8:30 a.m. at his residental group home located at 801 NW Walulla Ave.  Tyrone is in need of medication that he did not take with him.  He is described as a black male, approximately 6-feet-2-inches tall, and weighing 247 pounds.  He was last seen wearing a blue collared shirt, with a short sleeve t-shirt and blue jeans. 

 

Anyone who knows of Blocker’s whereabouts is asked to call 911.

 

 

UPDATE: Mr. Blocker has returned home and is safe. He is no longer considered a missing person. Thank you to everyone for spreading the word. 

Attached Media Files: TyroneBlocker.png
Gresham Police to Participate in Nationwide Safety Belt Enforcement Blitz - 05/21/21

Gresham, Ore. – The Gresham Police Department will be working with the Oregon Department of Transportation and other local agencies for this year’s second safety belt blitz.  The safety belt blitz begins on May 24th and ends on June 6th.  The enhanced enforcement is funded by the USDOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  During this blitz, there will be an emphasis on child safety restraints, seatbelt use during the day and night, as well as minors riding illegally in the bed of pickup trucks.   

Oregon law requires children under one year of age or weighing less than twenty pounds to be restrained in a rear-facing car seat.  It also requires children weighing under forty pounds to be restrained in a child seat.  Children over forty pounds must be in either a child seat or booster seat until they are eight years old or 4’9” tall AND the adult belt system fits them correctly. In order to ensure that child safety seats are being used correctly, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions, your vehicle owner’s manual or local child seat fitting station.

Oregon law also states that any person under 18 years of age is not allowed to ride in the open bed of a pickup truck, with very few exceptions.  See “ORS 811.205 Carrying Minor On External Part Of Vehicle” for details.   

Generally speaking, safety belts reduce the chance of being killed in a collision by 45 to 65 percent.  With regard to infants under 1 year of age, the proper use of child safety restraints can reduce their chances of a fatal injury by 71 percent.  Furthermore, properly restrained toddlers aged 1 to 4 will have a 59 percent less chance of being killed in a motor vehicle crash.    

Remember, “Click it or Ticket!”

 

Missing 13-Year-Old Located - 05/17/21

Missing 13-year-old Karen Torres returned home and is safe. Thank you for everyone's assistance.

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Gresham Police Looking For Missing Endangered Juvenile Female (Photo) - 05/16/21

Gresham, Ore. - Gresham Police are asking for the public's help to find 13-year-old Karen Torres who ran away from her home at 184th/E Burnside Street shortly after 11:00 PM on Saturday, May 15th. Karen has turned her phone off, and deactivated her social media accounts and her friends say they do not know where she is. She has made statements that she may want to harm herself in the past. Karen is described as a Hispanic female, five feet tall and 120 pounds. She was last seen wearing a white jacket and light blue jeans and she is familiar with Trimet. If you know where Karen is, please contact the police.

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Attached Media Files: Karen_Torres