Police found a man and dog dead Monday in a Northeast Portland apartment unit, and homicide detectives were called in to investigate the "suspicious" circumstances, a police spokesman said.
Sgt. Pete Simpson said he couldn't speak to the condition of the body, which was found in an apartment off Sandy Boulevard near 82nd Avenue around 3:45 p.m. Investigators haven't determined a cause of death for the man, who's in his 50s.
"With cases like this where we just don't have a clear determination early on, we treat them as if they were a homicide so that we can properly process the scene," Simpson said.
Simpson couldn't definitively say the death is a criminal incident. Investigators haven't ruled out suicide or any other factors, he said.
He didn't know the relation between the dead man and the woman who called 911. He also didn't know whether the man owned the dog.
The apartment is part of a residential complex that has both family and senior living units, he said. The man's body was found in a family unit.
Simpson said the dead dog is among the factors that led investigators to think the death is suspicious. He declined to elaborate about other factors.
A medical examiner can sometimes determine after a bit of work that "what might seem suspicious actually is normal for a natural death or some other kind of indicators," he said. "In this case, they aren't able to say."
The call was initially labeled as an assault, Simpson said.
"At this point, we really don't know enough about what happened," he said.
He asked anyone who knows anything about the incident or heard anything out of the ordinary to contact police. The bureau's non-emergency line is 503-823-3333.
-- Jim Ryan
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