Gary Russell Grimes was a Junction City High School graduate who ran his own business, Grimes Excavating Inc., out of his home in Harrisburg. He also enjoyed fishing and farming.
But 10 years ago this week, at the age of 48, Grimes was shot to death. His body was found on a logging road about two-thirds of a mile from Highway 228, between Brownsville and Crawfordsville. Detectives suspect that he was killed elsewhere and his body dumped on the logging road.
Grimes' murder is unsolved, but his case still is being investigated, Paul Timm, detective captain with the Linn County Sheriff's Office, said this week.
"That case actually has had activity in the last year or so," Timm said, explaining that detective Mike Harmon has conducted several interviews in connection with the case.
"It's still an open homicide," Timm said.
While there are no suspects or hot leads at the moment, Timm knows from experience that "cold cases" can turn hot at any time.
The Linn County Sheriff's Office has unsolved homicides dating back to 1965. But only two homicides that have occurred since Grimes' death remain unsolved.
Last year, Timm said, the office solved two cold cases -- investigations that for many years had no apparent leads. In one case, John Arthur Ackroyd was charged with murdering his stepdaughter, Rachanda Pickle, in 1990.
Detectives have both high- and low-tech methods to generate new leads on cold cases. A lot has changed in terms of DNA extraction technology and other forensic sciences over the years, Timm said.
"It could be we get a new tip, someone's conscience gets to them, (or) it could be a new (forensic) process comes along," he said.
Grimes' photo and brief account of his murder appear in a deck of cards -- specifically, the six of hearts -- that was released by law enforcement agencies in 2011. The set of cards profiles 52 cold cases -- involving either murder victims or missing persons -- from throughout Western and Central Oregon.
Each card asks people with any information about the unsolved cases to call Crime Stoppers at 800-850-0580.
Grimes was a lifetime resident of the local area. He was born Aug. 24, 1955, in Eugene to Charles and Catherine Knox Grimes. He graduated from Junction City High in 1974 and attended the diesel mechanic program at Lane Community College.
When he died a decade ago, his survivors included his mother, his brother and a son, according to an obituary published in The Register-Guard.
His mother and brother have since died. His son, Casey Mayhugh of Springfield, could not be reached for comment.
At the time of his death, family members asked that memorial contributions in Grimes' name be made to the Future Farmers of America or the athletic department at Junction City High.
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