Criminal Justice

Unsolved slaying of public defender leads to reward offer for tips


Police in Portland, Ore., are asking the public for any information that could help solve the 2009 slaying of an assistant federal public defender.

A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for tips leading to an arrest in the death of Nancy Bergeson, the Oregonian reports. The 57-year-old lawyer was found dead in the dining room of her home and was originally thought to have died of natural causes. An autopsy, however, attributed the death to strangulation.

According to a 2009 Oregonian story, a criminal investigation wasn’t begun until about 16 hours after the body was found. As a result, investigators did not place the victim’s hands in plastic bags to preserve fibers, hairs and other evidence.

Steven Wax, Oregon’s chief federal public defender, hired Bergeson 22 years ago. “Given what deep work police have done, this is a solvable case,” Wax told the Oregonian. “More information is needed, and we’re hoping that someone will come forward.”

According to a 2012 Oregonian story, Crime Stoppers is offering the reward.

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