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Police rule out foul play in death investigation

August 31, 2023

Gresham Police responded to a report of a deceased person on the ground in a parking lot, late in the evening of July 29, in the 2500 block of SE First St. in Gresham. Officers arrived and found William Echols, 46, most recently reported to be experiencing houselessness, near his vehicle with a possible head injury.

Detectives were called to respond to the scene to investigate the circumstances of Echols' death. Investigators spoke to potential witnesses, reviewed surveillance video, and searched Echols' vehicle pursuant to a signed search warrant. A Multnomah County deputy medical examiner responded to the scene and a full examination was subsequently performed. Detectives learned from the examination that Echols died of natural causes, specifically gastrointestinal hemorrhaging. Detectives determined that the health event caused Echols to fall and hit his head on the ground in the parking lot, which caused the injury to his head.