Ten-years after unsolved Ashland murder, friends remember David Grubbs

ASHLAND, Ore. – Ten years ago this week, 23-year old Ashland man David Grubbs was brutally murdered along the Ashland bike path. Grubbs’ murder was brutal, he was nearly decapitated. The case is still unsolved.

In part 1 of a 2-part special report, NBC5 News looks not at the now-cold criminal case, but the young man, who friends say they’ll never forget.

Ashland, Oregon is known around the world for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the iconic Lithia Park. It’s a pretty quiet city. But 10-years ago that silence broke.

Twenty-three-year-old David Grubbs was murdered in Ashland walking home from work on November 19th, 2011.

“I was actually working with him that day. We had the same shift and he got off an hour earlier,” said Beau Hamer, “He was the diamond in the rough. He was the guy who would poke you if you’re having a bad day just to make you laugh”.

David wasn’t just a co-worker to Beau Hamer and Eric Chaddock, he was a friend. Both men still work at Ashland’s Shop n’ Kart.

They told NBC5 News a day doesn’t go by when they don’t think about their friend.

“It’s been an eternity and it seems like it was just last year. So the wounds still feel fresh,” said Chaddock.

To them, David wasn’t just another worker, he was family. They even got memorial tattoos of David’s favorite band, the ‘Red Hot Chili Peppers’.

“The rest of us had baggage. He didn’t. He was a very special person,” said Chaddock.

But they said the Ashland High School graduate wasn’t just a good person, he had a goofy side and he was king of Halloween. Both men smiled, as they reflected on one Halloween where David dressed up like Al Bundy from the TV show, ‘Married with Kids’. But those smiles didn’t last.

After his horrific death, the men said it was a dark time for them.

“It was tough because we all got interrogated. Every employee got taken down to another office and we all got interrogated. That was a pretty emotional thing,” said Chaddock, “I get it. We totally get it, we understand. But that added more fire to the pain”.

Ten years later, the case is cold, but the investigation continues. With the police case at a standstill, detectives are hoping someone will come forward with information that will finally bring closure to this case. David’s friends hope people don’t forget the loss of a young man who touched so many in their quiet little city.

Friday on NBC5 News at 6 pm in part 2 of our special report, we’ll hear from an officer who was there the night David Grubbs was murdered.

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Katie Streit
NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
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