crimesider

Death of Ore. teen Cody Myers linked to white supremacists fleeing Wash. murder scene

Holly Grigsby and David Joseph Pedersen
AP Photo

(CBS/AP) PORTLAND - A body found in the woods in western Oregon was identified as missing 19-year-old Cody Myers, who police say crossed paths with two white supremacists fleeing a murder scene in Washington State less than a week ago.

Pictures: Cody Myers

David Joseph Pedersen and his girlfriend Holly Grigsby were arrested Wednesday after being the focus of a manhunt in the death of Pederen's stepmother, Leslie Pedersen, and the disappearance of his father, David Jones Pedersen.

An Oregon sheriff called their week-long road trip down the West Coast "a vicious vile reign of terror." They somehow came into contact with Myers, who had thoughts of joining the ministry and called his mother daily.

Authorities say the couple commandeered the teen's car in Oregon, but what exactly took place in the woods where the boy was found is unclear. Police know that Grigsby and Pederson were spotted by a camera at a convenience store on Sunday, where they used a stolen credit card. The card belonged to Pedersen's stepmother. 

On Wednesday afternoon, California Highway Patrol Officer Terry Uhrich was on a routine patrol in rural Yuba County. He spotted a woman standing next to a parked vehicle, three of its doors open. A man was inside the car.

"I pulled up to the side of them, just thinking they were needing assistance or something like that. I asked the female if they were all right. She said they were fine, she was stretching," Uhrich told The AP. "It kind of hit me that dispatch had put out a "Be on the Lookout" (BOL) about an hour and a half before - be on lookout for a stolen vehicle out of Oregon and it had a male and female out of it."

He ran the license number and confirmed it was Cody Myers' vehicle, then began following the couple as they drove slowly down the road. After about two miles, they turned into a side road leading to a church, and Uhrich followed them.

Uhrich turned on his patrol car lights, got out and, using his door as a shield, drew his sidearm and ordered them to turn off the engine. They complied, keeping their hands where he could see them. They occasionally leaned over and kissed.

Other officers arrived within minutes and arrested the couple, finding a rifle and two handguns inside the stolen car. The handguns were within reach of the suspects.

They were taken to a Yuba City police department holding cell to await interviews by the Oregon State Police and Everett, Wash., police.

Uhrich said they acted tranquil, "like they knew it kind of was over."

Uhrich drove Grigsby in the back of his patrol car, while Pederson was taken in a separate car. Along the way, said Uhrich, Grigsby sang along to a song on the radio - with "not a worry in the world."

Pedersen, a martial-arts expert with a prominent white-supremacy tattoo on his neck, spent the ages of 16 to 31 in one form of incarceration or another.

Grigsby, whose white supremacist leanings were made clear to her fellow inmates, found herself in trouble even while in prison being written up for assault and possession of contraband.

Grigsby was dating Pedersen, but is married to Dannel Larson of Portland, Ore. He told The Associated Press his wife is simply gullible, the victim of a person capable of manipulating her into doing things she never would do otherwise.

Pedersen and Grigsby have been named "persons of interest" in Myers' death. They were found with handguns and rifles, all of them loaded, but police have not said how Myers died.