Authorities urge caution as details emerge in Ashland murder

A 23-year-old killed on the Central Ashland Bike Path Saturday afternoon suffered wounds to the neck and head, Ashland police said today.

The body of David Michael Grubbs, an Ashland resident, was found near Hunter Park by someone using the popular walking and biking trail at about 5:35 p.m. Saturday. The body was found lying in the middle of the path, said Sgt. Tighe O'Meara. Police believe Grubbs was dead less than 30 minutes before his body was found, O'Meara said.

Police have declined to say what weapon was used in the attack, except that it was a "large, sharp-edged object."

Police said they are treating it as a homicide investigation and have not yet identified a suspect.

On Sunday, Southern Oregon University public safety officials sent out an email to students asking them to stay alert in the wake of the attack.

"Please be aware of your surroundings when you are out and about," the email from SOU campus public safety co-director Rich Walsh reads. "We recommend if you use the bike path to travel in pairs or groups."

The email also recommended students inform others before they use the bike path, and to carry a flashlight, whistle and cell phone if traveling at night.

Campus security will provide escorts on campus if students request them. Students can call 541-552-6911 if they wish to request a security escort.

"We want everyone to use due diligence in where and what they are doing to enhance safety," Walsh's email reads.

Ashland police have posted a similar safety message on the city's website. It advises people who see anything suspicious call 9-1-1. Anyone with information on the homicide is asked to call police at 541-482-5211 or a tip line at 541-552-2333.

The Ashland School District sent an email this morning to parents of students at Walker Elementary, John Muir and Ashland Middle schools warning them to exercise caution on the way to school, Superintendent Juli Di Chiro said.

While she stressed that the schools are safe, the message to parents advised students to walk to school in pairs or groups and avoid the bike path if possible. Elementary school students should be accompanied by an adult on the path and shouldn't walk any route alone, the email advises.

— Ryan Pfeil

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