Cold case squad makes arrest in 1995 murder

Cold case squad makes arrest in 1995 murder »Play Video

This is a press release courtesy of the Portland Police Bureau

On March 3, 2009, the Portland Police Bureau’s Cold Case Homicide Unit arrested 38-year-old Shawntell Moses and charged him with the 1995 murder of 30-year-old Kala Peterson. 

Shawntell Moses is being extradited from the State of Washington on March 31, 2009.  He will be arraigned on April 1, 2009, in Multnomah County on three counts of Aggravated Murder.

Kala Peterson was murdered on December 8, 1995, and her body was found on the sidewalk at Northeast 11th Avenue and Oneonta Street near Woodlawn Park.  Kala’s case was assigned to Homicide Detectives Dave Rubey and George Young.  The Medical Examiner’s Office and investigators determined that Kala died of multiple stab wounds.   The case was not solved and eventually became a cold homicide case.

An anonymous tip about the case was recently called into Crime Stoppers and that tip was immediately given to the Cold Case Unit.  Now retired, George Young is currently working in the Cold Case Unit as part of a grant awarded to the Bureau that allows retired personnel to work part-time on cases.  The personnel working on these cases assist the full-time detectives assigned to the unit. 

George Young received the information about the tip and recognized it as credible due to his knowledge of the case.  The tip was immediately followed up on by Cold Case detectives and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, and within four days of receipt of the tip, Shawntell Moses was arrested in Washington State.

This is an ongoing investigation and detectives are continuing to follow-up on all evidence in the case. Anyone with information concerning this case is asked to call Detective Jim Lawrence at (503) 823-0867.

Witness Sought

Bruce Edward Murphy, 58, is a material witness in the murder of Kala Peterson which occurred on December 8, 1995.

Murphy may be in the Bend area but is likely living as a transient in the Portland area.  Any person with information related to Murphy should call the Bureau of Emergency Communications (Police Dispatch) non-emergency number.  Dispatchers will assign the call to an officer and the officers who locate and identify Murphy will contact Cold Case Detectives. 

There are no criminal charges pending for Murphy related to the death of Kala Peterson.  He is needed as a witness only.