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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Robbery, Assault Suspected in Kipp Crawford's Death

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Victim Kipp Crawford
  • Victim Kipp Crawford
Kipp Crawford was a well-liked 32-year-old local musician and cyclist whose death this past November was a terrible shock to friends and family.

Crawford was laying with his bike in the middle of N Willamette Blvd at 2:30 AM on the morning of November 4th, when he was run over and killed by two drunk drivers. Speculation abounded as to how Crawford wound up laying in the middle of the road in the first place.

Today homicide detective Bryan Steed and Crawford's parents, Jean and Vern, held an emotional press conference revealing that evidence points toward someone attacking and robbing Kipp, fleeing the scene as he lay in the road. "Something caused him to fall off his bicycle," said Officer Steed. "Whether someone pushed him off, we don't know."

More details below the cut, but anyone with information surrounding Kipp's death is urged to call 503-823-HELP to aid the investigation.

From left: Vern and Jean Crawford and homicide detective Bryan Steed.
  • From left: Vern and Jean Crawford and homicide detective Bryan Steed.
Officer Steed was hesitant to release specific details about why the homicide division believes Crawford was assaulted and robbed minutes before he was struck by the two cars, but says that physical evidence at the scene points to assault and that items were missing from Crawford's person. Crawford had been riding east along N Willamette in the bike lane, but wound up in the westbound traffic lane.

A witness also told police that they saw someone standing over Crawford's body. According to the witness, the two seemed to be having an argument before the unknown individual fled. Crawford, a drummer for bands Celilo and Thanks Kipp, did not have any gigs the night he died, but he had been drinking in a couple North Portland bars. The police do not think he had any arguments or altercations in those bars. "This is a very tough case, there's very little physical evidence," said Officer Steed. The fact that Crawford was run over by two cars makes it very difficult to gather clues about what happened to him minutes before death, said Steed.

Crawford's parents made a heartbreaking plea for help from the public in their son's case. Jean thanked the police for their hard work and help and described her son as a kind, gentle soul who loved nature and music. "We are devastated. I'm in shock and despair. I would implore anyone with information to contact CrimeStoppers and share any information, to come up with some reason so that we may eventually have some understanding of how we lot our only son," said Jean. "To have our future with him lost is impossible to bear."

Kipp's father, Vern, struggled to speak through tears. "It hurts a lot. Not just for us, but for his sister. We want to know what happened before those cars came along."

Best wishes to Crawford's family and may they soon find answers. Anyone with information should call 503-823-HELP.

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