ASHLAND, Ore. — “It was a violent crime, a violent act, my son is dead,” said Michael Grubbs, father of victim.
Those are the words of David Michael Grubb’s grieving father in a November, 2011 interview.
The 23-year-old discovered on a bike path near Ashland’s Hunter Park around twilight.
“He got out of work at Shop n’ Kart at about 5 o’clock and was walking home,” said Chief Tighe O’Meara, Ashland Police Dept.
The frightening scene, etched in the memory of Chief Tighe O’Meara who was a patrol supervisor on duty at the time.
“I’ve been to homicide scenes before and crash scenes but this is a very seldom seen thing,” he said.
He says passerby found Grubbs lying on the ground who, at first, appeared to be passed out.
At a closer glance, the 6 foot tall man had multiple sharp force injuries to the head and neck and was nearly decapitated.
“I’m not talking about a pocket knife, I’m not talking about a knife you would carry on your belt in a sheath, I’m talking about something with some substance to it,” Chief O’Meara said.
Officers looked at roughly 80 blades, including machetes in their investigation.
But Chief O’Meara says people owning swords is more common than you’d think.
“After David was murdered, everybody had a sword on them. Swords were popping up left and right, we were getting complaints and calls. It is actually shocking the number of people who walk around with swords,” he said.
Chief O’Meara says no stone was left unturned.
Police looked into MS-13 because they have a history of beheading people and even ‘larping,’ a live action role playing group gathering in Lithia Park with medieval swords and shields.
“To deliver that forceful and lethal a blow right off the bat, I think would take some experience with a weapon,” he said.
One man, Christian Delaurentiis, remains a person of interest in the case.
Chief O’Meara says he’s, no doubt, capable of violent acts.
“We know that he was here. We know that at some point after David’s murder he left to go to the Portland area,” he said.
In 2015, Delaurentiis who struggled with a heroin addiction, was convicted of murdering his roommate in Washington County, dismembering him, and putting the body parts in a freezer.
Delaurentiis is now serving a life sentence at the Oregon State Penitentiary but won’t talk to police about the Grubbs case.
“You’re already in prison for life. And if you’re responsible and now that you’ve got more clarity of mind, hopefully with the drugs out of your system, give David’s family a chance to move on. Give the community a chance to move on,” said Chief O’Meara.
Whether the attack on Grubbs was random, remains a lingering question for Chief O’Meara.
“There’s a really good chance that the person responsible could be someone we’ve spoken to,” he said.
But there’s one thing Chief O’Meara is certain of.
“Somebody out there knows something that could contribute to this case and they’re keeping it to themselves. And I have to imagine that carrying that knowledge around is probably like carrying a boulder around your neck,” he said.
Nobody has ever been named a suspect in David Michael Grubb’s murder.
If you know something, contact the Ashland Police Department at (541) 488-2211.
A $21,000 reward is available for information.
© 2023 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.