White supremacist couple suspected in four deaths: police

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 10, 2011 9:38 PM
White supremacist couple suspected in four deaths: police

By Teresa Carson

PORTLAND, Ore (Reuters) - A white supremacist Oregon couple already suspected of killing three people was being investigated in the shooting death of a fourth person, police said on Monday.

The couple, David Joseph Pedersen and Holly Grigsby, were suspected of stabbing to death Pedersen's stepmother in Washington state, killing his father, and shooting dead a 19-year-old man whose body was found in an Oregon forest, Oregon police said.

The couple, arrested in California last week after a multi-state manhunt, were now also under investigation in the death of 53-year-old Reginald Clark, who was found in a car in Eureka, California, dead of a gunshot wound to the head, police said.

The pair were each being held in Yuba County Jail in California in lieu of $1 million bail on charges of felony gun possession and car theft. They had not been charged in the killings by Monday afternoon but police said they were suspects in all four deaths.

Police in Everett, Washington, said on Monday that Grigsby, 24, had confessed to the murders of David Jones "Red" Pedersen, her partner's father, and his wife Leslie Pedersen, 69.

An Oregon State Police spokesman said an autopsy had confirmed that the body of a man found on Friday in an abandoned Jeep was that of "Red" Pedersen, 56, the father of 31-year-old suspect David Joseph Pedersen, also known as Joey.

"Holly said the plan was to kill Red as he drove them to the Everett Transit Station to catch a bus. Joey was to sit behind Red and shoot him from behind while Holly took control of the vehicle, bringing it safely to a stop. The suspects allegedly made good on this plan," Everett police said in a statement.

Grigsby told detectives that the couple targeted Red and Leslie Pedersen because the elder Pedersen had allegedly molested Joey's older sister and a cousin when they were children, the Everett police said. They said there was no proof of the molestation.

The Everett police said Grigsby said she had stabbed Leslie Pedersen to death with two knives because she had knew about the abuse and failed to stop it, and that the couple then fled in the Jeep with Pedersen's body still inside.

The couple, whose white supremacist leanings were evident in a White Power tattoo on Pedersen's neck and through Facebook postings by Grigsby, were also suspected in the murder of 19-year-old Cody Myers of Lafayette, Oregon, police said.

Pedersen and Grigsby were driving a car belonging to Myers, who was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds in a forest, when they were taken into custody last week, Oregon State Police said.

An attorney for Grigsby could not be reached for comment on Monday. A Yuba County public defender representing Pedersen could also not be reached.

The local Marysville Appeal-Democrat reported on Monday that Joey Pedersen had, in a jailhouse interview, told a reporter that he, not Grigsby, had committed four murders.

The paper, in an article on its website, said Pedersen admitted killing his father, stepmother and two other people and that Grigsby was involved only under duress.

"She's been mis-portrayed," Pedersen was quoted by the newspaper as saying. "Everything that's been reported I take full responsibility for," he said.

(Additional reporting by Laura Myers in Seattle; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Greg McCune)