Authorities hunt Grubbs' killer

Tip leads about a half-dozen agencies to search for evidence in David Michael Grubbs murder
Divers from Klamath and Siskiyou counties search a pond off Rapp Lane near the intersection with Rapp Road.Bob Pennell

Police served three search warrants in Ashland and on the outskirts of Talent Wednesday looking for evidence related to the nearly year-old investigation into the brutal murder of David Grubbs.

Ashland police Chief Terry Holderness, who is leading the investigation, said police were acting on a tip but declined to say whether they were looking for anything specific or what may have been found during the searches.

Holderness also declined to comment on whether a suspect had been identified in the case.

"We obviously have somebody in mind or we wouldn't be serving search warrants," Holderness said.

"Just because we're searching doesn't mean the person who did this lives at one of these locations," he added. "We've issued several search warrants in this case already."

About 50 police and search and rescue volunteers from across the region, using dogs and armed with diving gear and metal detectors, combed over wide fields and thick blackberry patches on an 18-acre parcel at 225 W. Rapp Road Wednesday morning. They searched a home, old barns and sheds, junk piles and an irrigation pond on the property.

Leonard Parrish, who owns the home with his wife, Sally Parrish, wasn't present when searchers arrived at about 10:30 a.m.

"That's my property, and I don't have a clue what's going on," he said early in the search, adding he was on his way to the property.

Neighbors said the Parrishes were a nice family and cared for grandchildren at the home.

"What I know of them, they are really nice people," said neighbor Michele Bashaw, 59.

Jackson County Sheriff's Department, Jackson County Search and Rescue, Talent and Medford police departments, Klamath and Siskiyou county sheriff's offices, Oregon State Police and FBI agents assisted in the search on Rapp Road, Holderness said.

In Ashland, about a half-dozen Ashland police and Southern Oregon University campus public safety officers searched an apartment at 72 Wightman St., just a few blocks from where Grubbs was murdered, starting just before noon. The apartment is part of SOU's family student housing complex.

Phone records list Rebecca Jeanne Doran, 44, as a resident at the apartment, which a neighbor confirmed. It was unclear Wednesday how Doran might be related to the Parrishes, but she owns a 2006 Jeep Wagon registered to the 225 W. Rapp Road address, according to Driver and Motor Vehicle records. Phone and court records list her as a resident at the Rapp Road address as recently as 2011.

Serving another warrant, police seized a vehicle from the Ashland residence, said Kip Keeton, APD community service officer, but he declined to say who the vehicle belonged to or what type it was.

Grubbs was 23 when he was killed with a bladed weapon on Nov. 19, 2011, while walking home at dusk from his job at Shop'n Kart.

His body was found on the Central Ashland Bike Path near Hunter Park by a passer-by less than 30 minutes after he was murdered, police said.

Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-499-1470 or email Reporters Mark Freeman and Mandy Valencia contributed to this story.

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