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Search widens in Glendale murder case

DOUGLAS COUNTY — Local detectives have pitched in to help Douglas County sheriff's investigators crack the case of an Oct. 1 shooting in the tiny town of Glendale that left one woman dead and another critically injured.

Police have no motive for the murder of Barbara Lea Tooley, 59, of Damascus. Helen Berleta Long, 88, of Glendale, remains hospitalized in Rogue Valley Medical Center, where she is listed in serious condition.

The suspect entered the home on Azalea Glen Road and shot both women before fleeing in what could have been a dark-colored Toyota 4Runner or pickup.

"We have decided to help the Douglas County Sheriff's Department in this case because it happened so close to our county," Jackson County sheriff's Detective Sgt. Colin Fagan said. "It is entirely possible the suspect could have fled south on the interstate and passed through our area."

Jackson County detectives have traveled to Glendale for briefings and have conducted interviews along with Douglas County sheriff's investigators.

The severity of Long's injuries has made it impossible for police to interview her regarding the shooting.

"She might be 88 years old, but she is very tough," said Douglas County sheriff's Detective Jeff Wheaton. "She keeps hanging on and we hope to be able to speak to her at some point in the near future."

Police have combed the home for evidence and submitted items to the Oregon State Police Crime Laboratory for further examination.

Witnesses who saw the man and the truck in the area at the time of the shooting said he had a well-developed beard, which police believe could have been fake.

"We suspect a fake beard because witnesses who saw him later said he did not have facial hair," Wheaton said. "This leads us to believe he attempted to hide his identity by taking off the beard after the shooting."

The vehicle is described as a black, four-wheel-drive, single-cab Toyota pickup with a black canopy, believed to be a 1989 to 1993 model. The vehicle could also be a Toyota 4Runner.

The shooting has rocked the small community of Glendale, a town of around 900 people, Wheaton said.

"These victims were well-known in this area and well-liked," Wheaton said. "People who live here have told us they don't feel safe knowing this man is still out there."

Police sketch artist Chuck Steinberg has completed a composite sketch of the alleged shooter. Wheaton hopes the drawing will lead to the man's arrest.

"We're hoping someone recognizes him," Wheaton said. "Any leads in this case are appreciated."

A substantial reward is in the works for information leading to the man's arrest, Wheaton said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Douglas County Sheriff's Office tip line at 541-957-2099 or the Jackson County Sheriff's Office tip line at 541-774-8300.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4471 or e-mail cconrad@mailtribune.com.

Search widens in Glendale murder case