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Worker found shot, buried near illegal marijuana grow

Mail Tribune/File photo Police found a man buried in October at an illegal marijuana grow site in Josephine County.

A worker at an illegal marijuana grow site appears to have been shot and buried in a shallow grave in Josephine County. The body was found in October, but authorities did not report the death until Tuesday.

The next of kin of the Latino man has been notified, but authorities said they are not releasing his name in order to protect the investigation.

On Oct. 8, Josephine County Sheriff’s Office deputies and detectives responded to a report of a deceased man who had been shot and buried in the O’Brien area south of Cave Junction.

The reporting person didn’t know the area well, but was able to lead law enforcement to a location off Samarkand Drive near O’Brien, the sheriff’s office said.

Upon arrival, police recognized the property as an illegal marijuana grow site where a search warrant had previously been served. The reporting party knew some details of the incident and was able to lead law enforcement to a shallow grave in a wooded area approximately one-quarter mile from the grow site, the sheriff’s office said.

Police dug up a shallow grave and confirmed that a person was buried at the location. The man was known to have worked at the grow site, the sheriff’s office said.

The Josephine County Major Crimes Team was activated for the incident. The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office, Grants Pass police, Oregon State Police and the Josephine County District Attorney’s Office make up the team.

Anyone with information about the incident was asked to call the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office at 541-474-5123.