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Ashland police hope to get FBI analysis on Grubbs murder soon

Ashland investigators working to solve the Nov. 19 murder of David Grubbs expect feedback from some of the FBI's top analysts within a few weeks.

They gave a presentation to the federal experts early this month.

Now several FBI specialists on complex and hard-to-solve crimes are reviewing all of the evidence from the eight-month investigation, Ashland Police Department Deputy Chief Corey Falls said.

"We were able to present that to them with some of their profilers and a lot of their analysts," said Falls, who delivered the presentation July 3 alongside APD Detective Carrie Hull at an FBI training facility in Quantico, Va.

"They were intrigued by the case and uniqueness of it, and very satisfied with the thoroughness of the investigation that we had done up to that point," Falls said.

The FBI panel provided verbal feedback, but Falls declined to provide details because of the chance it could hinder the investigation into the brutal murder and near decapitation of 24-year-old Grubbs.

"We will certainly move forward with some of those things as the days go on," Falls said.

Grubbs was walking home from his job at Ashland Shop'n Kart when he was attacked with a sword or machete just before dark, police said. Police were alerted by a passerby who saw the body on the Ashland Central Bike Path near Hunter Park.

No suspect has been named.

The FBI experts are part of a Behavior Analysis Unit of investigative experts on violent crimes. According to the bureau's website, the units "provide operational support for complex and time-sensitive cases and other matters through the application of investigative case experience, education, specialized training and research."

"For us to have the opportunity to go was very rare," Falls said, noting BAUs typically are busy with high-profile serial killings and don't take single-homicide cases.

"This is another investigative tool that we are exhausting in the course of this investigation," Falls said. "I wish we could have come back with 'here is the guy,' but that's not the reality of what this is."

Falls sent the first preliminary packet of information to the FBI requesting a BAU on Dec. 6, alerting the bureau that APD had a complex murder investigation.

Hull and Falls spent months preparing for the presentation and had the opportunity to review what feedback they've already received last week, he said.

He said the BAUs wait to receive all of the evidence before reviewing an investigation prior to drawing any conclusions.

"We've been in constant dialogue with the FBI; it has been a coordinated effort through this entire process €… and they have been exceptional to work with," Falls said. "Hopefully, as time goes on, some of the suggestions or opinions that they give will show that it really assisted us in solving this crime."

A reward amount of more than $22,000 is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of Grubbs' murderer.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the non-emergency Ashland Police Department phone number at 541-482-5211 or the department's anonymous tip line at 541-552-2333. People can also give information to Crime Stoppers of Southern Oregon by calling 800-850-0580.

— Sam Wheeler