Shaq, the boxer whose possible theft was chronicled last fall in a Willamette Week cover story, is reportedly dead. At the time of the dog's disappearance, police focused their questioning on Kim Singer, a former KPTV news anchor, and Paige Powell, onetime confidante to the late artist Andy Warhol (see "Dog. Gone," WW, Nov. 28, 2001).

John Lindberg, Shaq's former owner, says he believes a veterinarian euthanized Shaq soon after he disappeared after being tied up in front of Strohecker's Market on May 9. The 9-year-old dog, who by all accounts had been well cared for by Lindberg, reportedly developed an intestinal ailment while in the care of an unknown individual.

Lindberg says he learned of his dog's reported demise on Dec. 17, three months after he sued both Singer and Powell for return of the dog.

"The more I think about it, the more it makes me angry," he says. "They've been letting this go on, while the whole time he was dead."

Powell has now hired Stephen Houze, a criminal-defense lawyer, to handle the case. Houze declined to comment, as did Sarah Conley, another attorney representing Powell, and Robert Babcock, Singer's attorney.

During the summer, Singer and Powell both maintained that they never had possession of the dog.

But WW has learned that Houze approached Jeff Mutnick, Lindberg's attorney, attempting settlement negotiations. A hearing on Lindberg's lawsuit is set for Jan. 23. Lindberg may also file a separate suit seeking as much as $500,000 for emotional distress.

Portland police are not pursuing the case, according to Sgt. Jim Powell, who handled much of an earlier criminal investigation.