SALEM, Ore. -- In what one investigator called a "reign of terror on the West Coast," two fugitives wanted in connection with the case of a dead Oregon teenager and for another murder in Washington state were arrested while on the run in California Wednesday.
Police said the body was found in the woods in the mid-Willamette Valley area Tuesday night was identified as missing Oregon 19-year-old Cody Myers. He died of homicidal violence
Earlier Wednesday, the California Highway Patrol arrested David Joseph Pedersen, 31, and Holly Ann Grigsby, 24, north of Sacramento in Myers' car. He vanished during a trip to Newport on October 3.
Oregon State Police Lt.Gregg Hastings said the two were considered persons of interest in Myers' death. He also said that weapons were seized during the arrests and authorities were working to determine if they were used to kill Myers.
The pair are also suspected in the murder of Pedersen's stepmoter. Lelie Pedersen, 69, was found dead in her Everett, Wash, mobile home on Sept. 29. Pedersen's father went missing three days before that.
Yamhill County Capt. Ken Summers said despite the findings yet to come, they were sure the right people had been arrested.
"A vicious, vile, reign of terror that affected the West Coast of the United States has come to an end," Summers said. "We have the people and the predators are off the streets."
The two suspects were being held in California on charges in that state, facing charges in Oregon and Washington as well.
Myers was reported missing Sunday after he was to attend a jazz festival in Newport.
White supremacist leanings
A martial-arts expert with a prominent white-supremacy tattoo on his neck, Pedersen spent the ages of 16 to 31 in one form of incarceration or another, save for a one-year stretch in the mid-2000s.
Even while in prison, Pedersen couldn't avoid trouble. Major disciplinary infractions included assault, extortion, disobedience, harassment and destruction of property.
Grigsby, whose white supremacist leanings were made clear to her fellow inmates at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, also found herself in trouble in prison, getting written up for assault and possession of contraband.
Sought in the slayings of Pedersen's stepmother, they went south, to Oregon. Pedersen's father's Jeep went missing with them, and police assume it has been abandoned somewhere in Oregon.
Grigsby was dating Pedersen, but is married to Dannel Larson of Portland, Ore. He told The Associated Press his wife is simply gullible, the victim of a person capable of manipulating her into doing things she never would otherwise.
"That man," Larson said, "took her on a road straight to hell."
Pedersen and Grigsby come from a world inhabited by convicts, violence and white supremacists.
Grigsby's father, Fred Grigsby of Portland, said his daughter had been involved with white supremacists, and also had battled drug addiction.
"She went to treatment. I thought she got her life together," he told The Associated Press.
Grigsby spent time in prison for a variety of 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.
Her boyfriend, Pederson, has a white supremacist tattoo on his neck and convictions dating back to 1997. He was first convicted of robbery at age 16 in Marion County, Ore. and has a spent a total of 13 years in prison for felony offenses that include assault and robbery and sending a letter threatening to kill a U.S. judge.
Pederson was released from prison this past May. His time free of bars and handcuffs lasted 134 days.
Anyone with information that may help investigators was urged to call a special tip line: 888-780-5678.