PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The victim of a homicide in Portland’s Parkrose Heights neighborhood was identified on Thursday.
Portland police say 59-year-old Penelope Fagan was found dead near Northeast 104th Avenue around 1:30 a.m. on August 8. The Medical Examiner determined Fagan’s manner and cause of death to be homicide by blunt force trauma.
Officers say they found Fagan’s body while responding to a reported assault in the area but have not released any further details about the homicide investigation – a point which has neighbors in the Parkrose community feeling uneasy.
“Since they’re not saying anything, we’re just left wondering and letting the wheels spin as parents,” said a neighbor who lives at the nearby Beverly Grove Apartments. “It’s really unnerving because you’re not sure if it was a domestic violence dispute or something more sinister that we as residents should be afraid of.”
The neighbor who agreed to speak with KOIN 6 asked to remain anonymous, as she said a spike in violent crime coupled with the lack of information from law enforcement on the recent homicide has left her community in fear for their safety.
“I think a lot of us are afraid to say anything because we don’t know where the threat came from and we just want to protect our families,” she said.
According to Doug Jones, he and his friends have lived at the complex for seven years and until this month have never experienced anything like this.
“It is bizarre to know that something like that could happen right next to where I live,” Jones said. “We’re still shaken up and trying to process it all.”
Like his anonymous neighbor, Jones also said he would have appreciated a more in-depth update from law enforcement by now, stating, “I just want to know what’s going on. Who did it? What was the situation, and could it happen again?”
He continued, “It would be nice to know, but we haven’t heard anything really. This is the first time I’m learning about anything new since it happened.”
Despite the brief update from police on Thursday, neighbors like Jones and the anonymous mother told KOIN 6 News the bulk of their questions remain unanswered.
As of Thursday, the Portland Police Bureau has not commented on the events leading up to the crime, or whether any arrests have been made. Neither the initial release nor the updated message Thursday contained any mention of the threat level to the public.
The woman who asked to have her name hidden told KOIN 6 News, as a mother the lack of information is a terrifying reality. She told KOIN 6 News, she and her family had already felt unsafe due to the rise in violent crime in their area before the murder took place.
“When we came out and saw all the caution tape and investigators, my daughter asked if we could stay in a hotel, since she didn’t feel safe,” the woman recalled. “Honestly it breaks my heart. As someone who cares a lot about this community and the people in this community, not just my own family. I know there is a collective trauma happening because of all the violent crime, and it’s not just my daughter that my heart breaks for.”
KOIN 6 News reached out to PPB for an update on the status of any potential suspects, arrests, as well as the perceived threat to the public in regard to this crime but did not receive a response back by the publication of this story.
Those with any information about the case are asked to reach out to Detective Eric McDaniel at Eric.McDaniel@portlandoregon.gov, 503-823-0833 or Detective Jeff Pontius at Jeffery.Pontius@portlandoregon.gov, 503-823-0433 and reference case number 22-212419.