February 19, 2013

Search for answers in a senseless killing

Family and friends want justice for a young man who struggled with his own role in a separate tragedy.

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 3)

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Portland police collect and photograph evidence at 105-107 India St. following the still-unsolved shooting death of 24-year-old Matt Blanchard during the early-morning hours of July 11, 2012.

Matt Blanchard

Additional Photos Below

Police would not explain the discrepancy.

One of the only gaps in the friends’ account of that night is any possible interactions Blanchard may have had with others during the time they were separated. Security videos show Blanchard riding his bicycle in and out of view, and he could have ridden down the street for a distance before returning to his friends, police said.

Blanchard’s brothers say they believe the gunman walked out to Congress Street from Smith Street, which is almost opposite India. They had not seen him or anyone else suspicious on Washington or on Congress before they turned down India.

A HIGH-PRIORITY CASE

Detectives are not neglecting the case, said Lt. Scott Pelletier, head of the criminal investigations division. Leads are still trickling in, and they continue to analyze forensic evidence collected at the scene.

“People call these cases cold. We don’t call them cold. We work them when we have information to go on,” Pelletier said. “There’s still a number of angles forensically we’re looking at in that case.”
Police Chief Michael Sauschuck said the case will never be neglected.

“All homicides are incredibly important from an investigative standpoint and from a safety perspective for the entire city,” he said. “That has nothing to do with an individual’s background or how it occurred. We give it all of our resources.”

“The India Street homicide is an anomaly of sorts, with three individuals shot,” he said. “That’s a very violent act in a very safe city and something we will never stop investigating till we have a suspect in custody.”

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:
dhench@pressherald.com

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Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

Ron Blanchard, left, father of murder victim Matt Blanchard, talks about his son along with Logan Howard, Matt’s uncle, and John Howard, Matt’s brother. They insist the killing was a random act of violence.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

  


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