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Community grieves loss of Grady Waxenfelter
Prime suspect Dirck Morgan White still on the run
The Estacada community is mourning the loss of Grady Waxenfelter, who was shot to death at Highway 224 and Amisigger Road the morning of Thursday, Feb. 6.
While the search for Waxenfelters killer continues, the Estacada community is only beginning to cope with grief at their sudden loss of a great friend.
He was just one of those guys who had a wonderful combination of strength and stability, said Estacada Mayor Brent Dodrill, who referred to Waxenfelter as a close friend.
Dodrill, who is also the lead pastor at the Estacada First Baptist Church, said that Waxenfelter had been a church elder for more than a decade.
The two would often ride motorcycles together along with other men from the church.
Dodrill described Waxenfelter as a motorcycle and car enthusiast and devoted family man.
He was one of those tough and tender sort of guys, Dodrill said. Just a great loss not just for his family but for all of us who knew him.
Bob Underwood, fondly remembered his friend as a gear head with unbelievable wit and a humble spirit.
Its probably one of the biggest traits I admired about him, his humble spirit, Underwood said.
Friend Mark Hambelton spoke of Waxenfelters devotion to God.
Hes with God now. He loved Jesus. We know hes there with him now, but its hard to let him go, Hambelton said.
Hambelton spoke of Waxenfelters passion for his Harley Davidson and said hed ride year round.
He sure didnt look like an elder of the Church, Hambelton joked.
Grady would never say anything bad about anybody, said Chamber Administrator Connie Redmond, who attended the same church. Grady did not have an angry bone in his body.
Redmond said those who knew him have been hit hard by the loss of this fabulous guy.
Friends expressed support for Waxenfelters family, including his wife Tedra; son Austin and daughters Alissa and Jeslyn.
Pastor Masami Yamamoto described Waxenfelters devotion to his family, saying hed do anything for his wife and children.
His family played more board games than anyone I know just because it kept everyone around the table laughing together, Yamamoto said.
Yamamoto praised Waxenfelters compassion and explained Waxenfelter had even fixed his car a number of times.
Yamamoto gave some details of Waxenfelters life. Hed married his high school sweetheart, Tedra, and spent time in the Army, a gig which took him to Germany.
According to a press release issued by the Clackamas County Sheriffs Office, Waxenfelter came to Clackamas County in 1987 as a mechanic, was promoted to senior mechanic in 1999 before becoming a county weighmaster in 2005.
The Estacada First Baptist Church dedicated a sermon on Sunday, Feb. 9, to Waxenfelter on the subject of dealing with grief. It is available on the churchs website at estacadafirstbaptist.org
A funeral service has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Estacada First Baptist Church.
The Clackamas County Peace Officers Benevolent Foundation has set up a donation fund for the Waxenfelter family to help them through this difficult time.
Donations may be made at any Clackamas County Federal Credit Union Branch or mailed to CCPOBF, P.O. Box 678, Clackamas, OR 97015.
Checks should be made to CCPOBF with Grady Waxenfelter Fund in the memo line.
All of the donations will go directly to the Waxenfelter family.
Thursday, Feb. 6
At the recommendation of the Clackamas County Sheriffs Office, Estacada schools were placed under a level-one lockdown for about two hours despite a planned early release due to inclement weather.
Meanwhile, deputies had closed portions of Highway 224 and Amisigger Road as the Crime Reconstruction and Forensic Team and Crime Scene Investigation personnel gathered evidence for several hours after the homicide took place.
The Clackamas County Sheriffs Office soon after named Dirck Morgan White, 41, of Edgefield, Wash., as the prime suspect in the murder.
According to the Sheriffs Office, Waxenfelter, in his capacity as Clackamas County weighmaster, had reportedly pulled White over for hauling wood in a truck trailer without a license plate.
White was working as a delivery driver for OMalley Brothers Trucking at the time of the homicide.
The company has been cooperating with authorities in this investigation.
White also is wanted for a weapons offense and is a suspect in a case involving the rape of a child in Pierce County, Wash.
He is believed to be driving a silver four-door 2004 Mercedes 320 with the Washington license plate ANB7070.
White is considered armed and dangerous, police warn citizens not to engage him.
Any siting of White or his vehicle should be reported to 9-1-1 immediately, police say.
Clackamas County is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to Whites arrest. OMalley Brothers Trucking is offering another $2,500.
U.S. marshals have joined the Sheriffs Office in the manhunt for White.