Police ask for help solving 30-year cold case of North Portland couple's murder

Photo of Robert Wheatley, 61, and Frieda Wheatley, 69 from Portland Police.

PORTLAND, Ore. – It’s been three decades since police found a couple dead in their North Portland home, and detectives are hoping witnesses could help them solve this cold case mystery.

The case started Aug. 29, 1988 when the granddaughter of Robert and Frieda Wheatley called police to do a welfare check.

Officers found Robert, 61, and Frieda, 69, deceased in the basement. The medical examiner ruled they both died of strangulation two days before they were found.

Detectives said the motive was an “apparent robbery,” as there was no sign of forced entry and the home had been ransacked.

Police said a TV, ATM card, credit card and the couple’s light green 1979 Buick Regal had all been stolen.

Police said the cards had been used extensively in North, Northeast, and downtown Portland areas before the Wheatleys were discovered dead. The car turned up a few days later in the parking lot at Jantzen Beach Shopping Center.

Crime Stoppers of Oregon is offering a $2,500 reward in this and other unsolved felony cases.

If you have any helpful information, call police at (503) 823-0400 or submit a tip to Crime Stoppers.

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