SALEM, Ore. — A man released from prison less than five months ago and his girlfriend were named Tuesday as the suspects in the killing of his stepmother in Washington last week and the disappearance of an Oregon teenager last seen heading for a jazz festival.
A third person, the father of the ex-convict, is missing.
The two suspects are David Joseph Pedersen, 31, and Holly Grigsby, 24, said police in Oregon and Washington state.
Leslie Pedersen, 69, was found dead on Sept. 28 with her hands tied with duct tape and a bloody pillow wrapped around her head, police in Everett said. The police said Tuesday they have probable cause to arrest the two suspects on murder charges.
Leslie Pedersen’s husband — David Jones Pedersen — is missing, Everett police said.
Oregon State Police said David Joseph Pedersen and Grigsby were seen Sunday morning in the Plymouth Breeze that Cody Myers, 19, was driving when he left Saturday from his Willamette Valley home for the Oregon coastal town of Newport.
Lt. Gregg Hastings wouldn’t elaborate on what happened when the two suspects went to a Salem-area convenience store.
Earlier Tuesday, Yamhill County authorities said the car was recorded on surveillance video, and a woman in the car tried to use a stolen credit card. None of the officers would say to whom the card belonged.
David Joseph Pedersen and Grigsby have extensive criminal records, Pedersen has a martial arts background, and they should be considered armed and dangerous, Hastings said.
Pedersen’s convictions date to 1997, when he was 16 and convicted of robbery in Marion County, public records show. He spent nearly six years in prison and was released in January 2003.
Less than a month later, he was arrested on charges that included assaulting a police officer in Eastern Oregon’s Umatilla County. He was convicted on one count and spent seven years in prison. He was released May 24.
Grigsby spent time in prison for a variety of minor charges beginning in 2006, including identity theft and unauthorized use of a vehicle. After completing probation, she was again sentenced in 2008 on identity theft charges. She served two years.
Family members said Myers’ cellphone quit receiving calls Saturday, and they notified authorities on Sunday.
“We still hold out hope that we’re going to find Cody, that a miracle has happened, and we’re going to find him alive and well,” said his brother-in-law, Mike Klein, at a news conference with Oregon authorities.
Hastings said a car that matched a description of Myers’ Plymouth Breeze was reported moving erratically on Interstate 5 south of Salem early Sunday. Officers from multiple agencies responded to the report but did not find the car.
Neighbors at the Mobile Country Club mobile home park in Everett said the Pedersens had only lived there a few weeks before Leslie Pedersen was killed, and they had been working hard to fix up their property.
“I was very happy they moved in, because I thought I was really getting some very nice neighbors,” said Nora Winchell, who said she had one brief conversation with the Pedersens when they moved in.