PORTLAND, Ore. - The youngest victim of what authorities describe as a crime spree in the Northwest that left three people dead is being remembered by his family as polite, helpful and passionate about music.
Cody Myers, 19, of Lafayette, Ore., was found shot in the head and chest Tuesday in woods near Corvallis, three days after he left home to attend a jazz festival. Police say he somehow crossed paths with boyfriend-girlfriend fugitives David Joseph Pedersen and Holly Ann Grigsby.
Pedersen and Grigsby also are suspects in the killing of Pedersen's stepmother, Leslie Pedersen of Everett, who was found dead Sept. 28. Her hands were duct-taped together, a bloody pillow covered her face and a sword lay nearby.
The pair was seen leaving her Everett home a few days before with Pedersen's father, David Jones "Red" Pedersen. The father's Jeep was found Friday in Oregon with a man's body inside.
The couple was arrested last week in California driving Myers' car, a 1999 Plymouth Breeze he'd saved money to buy. Pedersen and Grigsby are suspected in three deaths, including Myers', and are in custody in California on weapons and auto-theft charges, to which they have pleaded not guilty.
Myers' sister, Brittany Klein, told The Oregonian her brother would greet her as soon as she pulled into the driveway and offer to carry her jacket. He also tutored his brother in math and helped his mother pay the bills. Myers spent the past two summers working at her father-in-law's construction company.
"I couldn't wash a dish without him following and asking, `What can I do? Can I get that for you?'" said Klein, 31.
David Joseph Pedersen and Holly Grigsby
Myers was born in Salem to Kent and Susan Myers. The family moved to Stayton, then to Billings, Mont. Cody, the second oldest, grew up home-schooled with one sister and three younger brothers. When their parents divorced, Susan Myers and the four boys moved to Lafayette in 2006, family members said.
He was 6-foot-4 and enjoyed hunting, fishing and crabbing.
But his main passion was music. He'd been inseparable from his guitar since he got his first one at age 12, said his mother.
"When he has a goal or focus, he's 100 percent," his mother, Susan Myers, said. "It wasn't just playing guitar for him. It was a way of life."
He joined a jazz ensemble, self-recorded a CD and performed gigs at coffee shops. A light brown Epiphone guitar was his baby, his mother said.
He had hoped to one day create an organization that would refurbish and donate instruments to young beginning musicians, said his father, Kent Myers.
Cody was also a devout Christian, and while studying music at Clackamas Community College, he stayed involved in youth music ministry.