Image: Holly Grigsby and David Joseph Pedersen
Everett Police Department via AP
Holly Grigsby and David Joseph Pedersen, who are wanted in connection with the murder of Pedersen's stepmother and the disappearances of his father and an Oregon teenager.
updated 10/5/2011 9:52:17 PM ET 2011-10-06T01:52:17

A couple suspected in a brutal murder and sought for questioning in the disappearances of two other people were arrested in California on Wednesday driving the car of an Oregon manwho was found dead, police said.

David Joseph Pedersen, 31, and Holly Ann Grigsby, 24, were taken into custody on Wednesday in California near Yuba City, about 45 miles north of Sacramento, following a multi-state manhunt, Oregon State Police said.

The couple is suspected in the stabbing death of Pedersen's 69-year-old stepmother, Leslie Pedersen, in Everett, Wash., on Sept. 29.

Calling the murder especially brutal, Everett Police Sergeant Robert Goetz said the woman's hands were bound with duct tape and a pillow was soaked with blood.

Pedersen's 56-year-old father, David Jones Pederson, has been missing since Sept. 26.

"We are hoping that now that they have been arrested, they can provide us with some information on Mr. Pedersen," Goetz said.

The suspects were driving a white 1999 Plymouth Breeze belonging to 19-year-old Cody Myers of Lafayette, Ore., who disappeared after leaving Saturday for a jazz festival on the Oregon coast.

Myers' body was found late Tuesday in a wooded area in Oregon's Willamette Valley, and the evidence shows it was not an accidental death, Lt. Gregg Hastings of the Oregon State Police said Wednesday.

Pedersen and Grigsby have criminal records, and Pedersen was released from prison in May after serving seven years on an assault conviction.

"We want to emphasize the public safety danger these two suspects pose in our community," Hastings said.

Investigators believe the pair abandoned a Jeep, then took Myers' Plymouth Breeze. Investigators say Pedersen and Grigsby hadĀ  the Plymouth on Sunday when the woman tried to use a stolen credit card at a Salem gasoline station.

Pedersen's stepmother was found dead Sept. 28 with her hands tied with duct tape and a bloody pillow wrapped around her head. Police said Tuesday they have probable cause to arrest the two suspects on murder charges.

Leslie Pedersen's husband, David Jones Pedersen, is missing, Everett police said.

David Joseph Pedersen's convictions date to 1997, when he was 16 and convicted of robbery in Marion County, Ore., public records show. He spent nearly six years in prison and was released in January 2003.

Less than a month later, he was arrested on charges that included assaulting a police officer in Eastern Oregon's Umatilla County. He was convicted on one count and spent seven years in prison.

Grigsby spent time in prison for a variety of minor charges beginning in 2006, including identity theft and unauthorized use of a vehicle. After completing probation, she was again sentenced in 2008 on identity theft charges and served two years.

Fred Grigsby, of Portland, said Wednesday his daughter Holly was "mixed up" with white supremacists. Photos show her boyfriend with tattoos indicating white power sympathies.

Grigsby said his daughter had drug addictions as a teenager. He also says she has a 2-year-old son, who's safe with the father.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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