Phoenix motorcycle rider found dead

James Lutter was pinned beneath bike, down embankment

The body of a missing Phoenix man was discovered Sunday morning pinned under his motorcycle on a remote forest road in Lane County.

"We know the (motorcycle) was on top of (James Lutter). It certainly seems to be a traffic accident. But the cause will remain unknown until after an autopsy," said Jenny Hall, spokesperson for the Jackson County Sheriff's Department.

The department on Saturday put out a media request asking for the public's assistance in a multi-county search for Lutter. The 60-year-old man left the Portland area on Tuesday, Oct. 15, and was due back in the Rogue Valley on Thursday.

Described as 6 feet tall and 220 pounds, Lutter was wearing a lime green and black helmet and a silver, black and lime green riding suit. He drove a black and white Triumph "Tiger" motorcycle. Lutter's route of travel was believed to be east through the Detroit area to John Day, then southwest to Medford via various unknown backroads.

Lutter was last seen in Cottage Grove Tuesday evening, according to sheriff's deputies. At noon on Wednesday, Lutter's cell phone pinged off a tower southwest of Eugene, giving an approximate location and direction of travel toward southern Lane County.

Acting on a tip from the public, Lane County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a remote forest service road where they discovered Lutter's body pinned underneath his motorcycle, approximately 15 feet off the roadway down a 12-foot embankment.

Rescue crews said it was difficult to see the motorcycle from the roadway. Lutter was wearing a Personal Locator Beacon; however, the device had not been activated, officials said.

Lutter's family members arrived in the Rogue Valley Friday to aid in the search. Hall credited the coordinated effort between police, media and the public in finding Lutter so quickly.

"That's what lead to finding him today," Hall said.


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