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Missing man's mother charged with forging will

Although police presume that a Medford man missing for more than a year is dead, the case is far from over.

, 36, disappeared without a trace last year, but in his absence, police have uncovered a drug trafficking ring, a tangled estate and criminal allegations against his own mother.

It's like a nightmare that's never ending, said Rozelle's mother, Cheryl Gobel of Boulder City, Nev.

Gobel, 59, is set to stand trial next month on charges that she forged Rozelle's will, which established Gobel as the executor and disinherited Rozelle's young daughter who lives in Jackson County with her mother. Gobel has pleaded not guilty and refused to comment on the charge.

— The alleged forgery has brought some things into the investigation that we need to consider, said Medford police Lt. Mike Moran.

This just kind of adds to the mystery and leaves more questions unanswered than before, he said.

Rozelle was last seen at his home on Lynnwood Avenue on May 29, 2002. He was planning to travel to Porterville, Calif., to discuss his father's estate with an attorney. Rozelle's father, who died in April, reportedly left his son a large amount of money and property, police said.

But relatives said Rozelle never made it to Porterville. His pickup truck was found in the driveway of his home. Only Rozelle's cell phone, wallet and briefcase appeared to be absent from his house. Rozelle's family reported him missing on June 18, 2002.

The next week, Gobel filed a copy of Rozelle's will in Jackson County Circuit Court and was appointed conservator. About three months later, an aunt called police detectives and told them she was concerned about the estate. Interviews with Gobel led police to believe she forged the will. She was indicted on a charge of first-degree forgery in January and later removed as conservator of Rozelle's estate.

Meanwhile, police had been monitoring Rozelle's bank accounts and credit cards. There was no indication they had been used. Detectives searched his home for clues to his disappearance, but family members had apparently cleaned and sterilized the house before investigators arrived, said Moran.

Instead of a homicide scene, detectives uncovered evidence of a marijuana growing operation in Rozelle's home and several others that he was using around the valley. No plants were found inside Rozelle's residence, but trays and lights were set up in a back room. Informants told investigators that Rozelle was involved in the drug trade between Medford and California. Detectives then knew information leading to Rozelle was unlikely to surface.

Even if a person did have information, if they're tied up in narcotics trafficking, they're not going to come forward, Moran said.

Police said it's unknown exactly how much money was at stake in Rozelle's estate. However, property sales were pending, and no other will has been found, they said.

Police ask anyone with information about the case to contact Medford police Detective Terry Newell at 774-2230 or the Medford Police Department at 770-4783.

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Brendt Lionel Rozelle