Nearly two years after man's mysterious death, family still searching for answers
Nearly two years after a young man's mysterious death, loved ones are still looking for answers from Portland police.
The 22-year-old's body was found at the bottom of a cliff in 2015. The day before, the car he drove was found nearly 150 miles away.
"We want to know ..."
Manny Batalla reminisced while looking at a photo of him and his little brother, Irvin, together at the beach in 2008. At the time, Manny was 20 and Irvin was about 15.
"It was just a good time," Manny said. "I wish I could go back in time and maybe not leave for the military and stick around ... watch him grow up, spend more time with him."
While Manny served in the Army and went to college, he said Irvin took a different path.
"He had issues just kind of doing the normal, contribute-to-society thing," Manny explained. "He didn't have a stable job."
But Manny said if friends and family were in need, Irvin would help.
"He just cared," Manny said. "He was a good person even though he didn't have, you know, a whole lot in his pocket. He would try with whatever he had."
In July of 2015, Manny and his parents got horrible news.
A medical examiner's report said some kids discovered Irvin's body at the base of a cliff at Rocky Butte in Northeast Portland.
The report lists the cause of death as "blunt force injuries" and says drugs were in Irvin's system. But the manner of death -- how he fell -- is still listed as "undetermined."
"Ultimately, we have not received an answer from Portland Police Bureau as far as what happened or what may have happened," Manny said.
The medical examiner said a lanyard belonging to Irvin was found near his body. He said it had a house key and an electronic fob for a car on it, but there was no car key.
Oregon State Police (OSP) said the day before Irvin's body was discovered, the car he drove, which his father owned, was found south of Eugene.
Troopers said the gold Nissan crashed on Highway 58 and that a key was stuck in its ignition.
They said three people were inside.
A young man identified as the driver was cited for charges stemming from the crash and arrested on a warrant in a separate case.
Troopers said it's unclear how he wound up with the car.
Irvin's ex-girlfriend, Karina, told KATU that Irvin knew the young man found driving the car but she did not.
"He mentioned his name a couple times," said Karina, who did not want to publicly share her last name. "He was a new person that he was hanging around with."
She wonders why Portland police issued no news releases about the case.
"I feel that they're trying to cover something up," Karina said.
After KATU spoke with Manny on camera, he said a detective told him last Friday that they're following up on leads and the case is still under investigation.
KATU filed a public records request for the police report on March 25. The Portland Police Bureau says the request is still processing. KATU also contacted a police spokesman twice -- the first time nearly two weeks ago -- and still has not received a response.
Manny said he and his parents have hired multiple lawyers and private investigators to try and find out how Irvin died.
"All I know is my family and I just want some sort of closure," Manny said. "We want to know what happened to him."