Friends are mourning a public defender found slain at her Portland home this week, with one of her clients calling her "a fighter."
Police on Thursday continued to search the home of Nancy Bergeson and an adjacent wooded area. The 57-year-old was found dead Tuesday, and an autopsy Wednesday concluded she was a homicide victim. Police have ruled out gang activity or domestic violence.
“It could be a stranger, or it could be somebody that she knew,” police spokeswoman Mary Wheat told the Oregonian newspaper. “It could have been someone from work or someone that wasn’t necessarily a stranger. Normally at this stage, we have some idea” if this is someone she knew. Bergeson was an assistant federal public defender who had worked in that office in Portland and Eugene since 1991.
Vernice Trease, a friend of 20 years and a Utah judge in Salt Lake City, said Bergeson was a mentor in the Salt Lake Legal Defender Association.
“Whatever it is that she thought was right, and was appropriate for her client, she stood up and advocated for them,” Trease told The Oregonian.
The Associated Press