Police link 2 to slaying, teen's disappearance

AP News
Posted: Oct 05, 2011 3:15 AM
Police link 2 to slaying, teen's disappearance

Federal, state and local police are hunting for a boyfriend-girlfriend duo suspected in the murder of the male suspect's stepmother as well as the disappearance of his father in Washington state and of a teenager in Oregon days later.

Police have not yet said what the motive might be for the crimes in Everett, Wash., or how the Oregon teen got caught up in whatever ordeal is playing out. But they made it clear that the two suspects _ David Joseph Pedersen, 31, and Holly Grigsby, 24 _ are likely armed and dangerous.

A surveillance tape shows Grigsby and Pedersen at a Salem, Ore., convenience store, and police say Grigsby tried to use a stolen credit card to buy something. A male was sitting in the car, but it wasn't Cody Myers, the missing 19-year-old, who police say there is no sign of.

Police first began looking into Pedersen after his stepmother, 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 said Tuesday they have probable cause to arrest the two suspects on murder charges.

Leslie Pedersen's husband, David Jones Pedersen, also 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 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 as experience in mixed martial arts, and both should be considered armed and dangerous, Hastings said.

Pedersen's convictions date to 1997, when he was 16 and convicted of robbery, 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 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.


Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Nigel Duara, Tim Fought and Terrence Petty in Portland, Ore., and news researcher Judy Ausuebel in New York.