PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — One year ago, Evelin Navarro-Barajas was shot to death in Northeast Portland. No one has been arrested.
On Tuesday, the lead detective on the case and members of her family held a press conference hoping to generate new leads in the case.
PPB Detective Ryan Foote made a statement to kick off the 10 a.m. press conference. He told reporters evidence points to the homicide being a random act of gang-motivated violence — clarifying Evelin herself had no association with any gangs. He then described how Evelin’s life was taken at the beginning of an unprecedented 12-month period of heightened murder in the city.
“Evelin was more than a number or a statistic, she was more than a headline or a talking point — Evelin was a young woman with a lot of life left to live,” Foote said. “As homicide detectives, we want to solve each and every one of our cases. We want to get it right, the victims and their families deserve that. Yet we’re stuck in the harsh reality of a time where the number of homicides has quadrupled. A place where tasks outpace our time.”
Foote said with Evelin’s case still unsolved, they are now asking for the public’s help.
“We ask that Evelin’s case not be forgotten and that people within the community come forward so Evelin and her family can have the justice and the closure they deserve,” he said. He acknowledged people with information about the case may be fearful of coming forward due to the nature of the case — but individuals can remain anonymous by submitting a tip through Crime Stoppers of Oregon.
Evelin’s mom, Sonia, addressed the media after Foote and spoke to her late daughter’s loving and caring nature.
“She would do anything for anybody,” Sonia said. “She would always care about others before herself.”
Sonia said she was at the press conference because she wants justice for her daughter.
“She did not deserve to die the way she did. She had a lot of things to do left in life still — she was young and healthy. She was just having fun out there with her friends,” she said. “Nobody has a right to take anybody’s life like that and have a mom with this pain that no mom deserves — I just want anybody that can help to help find whoever needs to be punished for this.”
Evelin’s younger sister, Janicey, and her aunt, Juana, took the podium to support Sonia. Janicey went onto describe Evelin’s beautiful soul and her care for the homeless community.
“There was not a day she wouldn’t try to help a homeless member,” Janicey said. “She had a kind heart. She kept an eye out for anything she could help in.
“She was a great sister, a great aunt. We all miss her. We can feel a big void in our family when we have gatherings and things like that. She was a big part of our family and definitely the person to keep us all happy.”
Janicey said while there may not be specific answers they’re looking for, they just want Evelin to rest peacefully.
“I know she would be out here looking for every single answer if this happened to one of us,” she said.
Evelin Navarro Barajas was found dead at the scene of a shooting in the 6700 block of NE Killingsworth on June 18, 2020. She and another man were shot in the incident, but he survived.
The Medical Examiner determined Barajas’ cause of death was homicide. She was 23.
Crime Stoppers of Oregon offers cash rewards of up to $2,500 cash for information, reported to Crime Stoppers, that leads to an arrest in any unsolved felony crime and tipsters can remain anonymous.