Body found in Jeep of slain Everett woman's husband

Body found in Jeep of slain Everett woman's husband
David Jones "Red" Pedersen and his wife Leslie
ALBANY, Ore. - A third body has been found in a deadly crime spree that began with the slaying of a woman in Everett last month and ended with the arrest in California a few days ago of two fugitives, Oregon authorities said Saturday.

The body was found in a Jeep belonging to the father of the man who is suspected of killing his stepmother in Everett and a teenager in Oregon, police said Saturday.

Authorities say the body of the white adult male was discovered in a black Jeep Patriot belonging to David Jones "Red" Pedersen of Everett, who has been missing since last month, when his wife, Leslie, was found murdered in their Everett home.

The medical examiner will conduct an autopsy Monday to determine whether the body is Pedersen's and to ascertain the cause of death.

Police found Pedersen's Jeep early Friday along a logging road near Yellowbottom Campground north of Green Peter Lake in Oregon. It was not visible from the roadway, and police did not discover the body inside until later.

The vehicle was found not far from the scene where a 19-year-old Oregon man, Cody Myers, was found shot to death earlier this week.

 David Joseph Pedersen and Holly Grigsby

 Cody Myers

Pederson's son and girlfriend, David Joseph Pedersen, 31, and Holly Ann Grigsby, 24, were arrested Wednesday in Yuba County, Calif., and are suspects in the deaths of Leslie Pedersen and Cody Myers.

The two were seen leaving the Everett home of his father and stepmother on Sept. 25 in "Red" Pedersen's Jeep, and witnesses said the father left with them.

Pedersen's wife, Leslie, was found dead in the home three days later with obvious injuries. Her hands were duct-taped together, a pillow covered her face and a sword lay nearby.

"It's all senseless," said the victim's daughter, Lori Nemitz, who found her mother's body. "(I) keep hoping we're going to wake up from a bad dream, but we know it's not going to happen."

On Wednesday, "Red" Pedersen's son and the son's girlfriend were stopped by the California Highway Patrol in Yuba County, Calif., while driving a car belonging to Cody Myers.

Nemitz and her sister, Susan Ellis, said the suspects visited the Everett home last month after a long absence. David Joseph Pedersen and his father had been estranged for years, they said, and it was Leslie Pedersen who was trying to reunite them.

"She accepted everybody into her life. She gave the benefit of the doubt, no matter what," said Ellis.

"He's (David Joseph Pedersen is) not our stepbrother; he's nothing to us," Nemitz said.

A search of the suspects' car after their arrest on Wednesday turned up two handguns within reach and a rifle in the trunk.

Earlier, Grigsby allegedly tried to use a stolen credit card belonging to Leslie Pedersen at a Salem, Ore., mini-mart, where she was captured on a surveillance camera.

The two are now jailed in Yuba County, Calif. Both pleaded not guilty to charges of illegal possession of a weapon and car theft. They are each being held on $1 million bail.

Investigators in Washington and Oregon say they are eager to have the pair extradited to their respective states to face likely murder charges.

David Joseph Pedersen's convictions date back to 1997, when he was 16 and convicted of robbery in Marion County, Ore., according to public records. 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, four of them at a federal prison in Colorado.

In 2000, while Pedersen was an inmate at the Snake River prison in Ontario, Ore., he sent a letter threatening to kill U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge, according to a federal indictment. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years in federal prison and three years of probation. The judge's office declined to comment.