Authorities say body found in missing man's SUV

October 8, 2011 - 9:20 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A third body has been found in a deadly crime spree that began with the slaying of a woman in Everett, Wash., last week 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 owned by David Jones Pedersen, who went missing last week after the Everett woman — his wife — was found stabbed to death in their home.

Authorities did not release the body's identity on Saturday, but said Pedersen's relatives had been notified.

Authorities have said they believe the Jeep was driven to Oregon and abandoned by Pedersen's son, David Joseph Pedersen, and the son's girlfriend Holly Grigsby.

Both are suspects in the slaying of Leslie Pedersen.

Authorities believe that after abandoning the Jeep in Oregon, the two fugitives commandeered a vehicle driven by 19-year-old Cody Myers and killed him. His body was found Tuesday in a wooded area about 70 miles from where the black Jeep was found.

The younger Pedersen and Grigsby were arrested Wednesday on a highway north of Sacramento.

They have not been charged in relation to the body, but remain in custody in California on weapons and auto-theft charges.

Authorities hope to identify the body in an autopsy Monday.

Everett Police Sgt. Robert Goetz said authorities had notified Pedersen's family and "we will allow the medical examiners to do their job. The family will be the first to know" if it's him.

Goetz said he did not know if the body had sustained any injuries inconsistent with the crash down the steep embankment

"It took some time to come up with a plan to bring the vehicle up to a place where investigators could safely see inside," he said.

The vehicle was found Friday afternoon in a remote wooded area southeast of Salem, Ore. It was discovered over an embankment along a logging road and was not visible from the roadway.

Oregon State Police Lt. Gregg Hastings said authorities were led to the vicinity of the vehicle by "information developed during the ongoing investigation," but he declined to elaborate.

"They were able to discover it while they were checking quite an extensive area," Hastings said.