Daughter of slain public defender: mother 'compassionate'

Daughter of slain public defender: mother 'compassionate' »Play Video
Jamie Bergeson, the daughter of slain federal public defender Nancy Bergeson, spoke to the media Wednesday and asked for public help in finding her mother's killer.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Jamie Bergeson, the daughter of slain federal public defender Nancy Bergeson, fought back tears Wednesday in a room full of strangers as she gave them a glimpse of what her mother meant to her.

“My Mom, Nancy, was a kind and compassionate woman who touched so many lives,” she said to news reporters. “She brought family, friends and teammates together as a beacon of positivity and love. The loss of her life has created an emptiness in so many of our lives.”

Bergeson spoke at the Portland Police Bureau which is across the street from the federal courthouse where her mother practiced law.

Nancy Bergeson’s body was discovered last week on Tuesday around 3 p.m. in her Southwest Portland home.

Initially, police said a deputy medical examiner determined Bergeson died from natural causes. Her body was removed by that evening, but it wasn’t until the next morning, after an autopsy, police said the state medical examiner realized Bergeson had been murdered.

Detective Sgt. Paul Weatheroy said the scene was preserved throughout the night and said he doesn’t believe the investigation was affected by the delay.

“I don’t know the exact extent of what that sealed concealment meant, but it was sealed and protected the entire time,” he said.

Investigators aren’t confirming reports that Nancy Bergeson was strangled, but they said they are talking with anyone she associated with for work and in her personal life.

There is a $1,000 reward being offered in this case and Bergeson’s family is asking anyone with information to contact police, even anonymously.

“She dedicated her life to the pursuit of justice, and I beg of you to give her the same,” Jamie said. “I plead with you to help us in any way possible no matter how small or insignificant you may think that information may be.”