There has been an outpouring of donations from the community since the death of 23-year-old David Michael Grubbs a week ago on the bike path.
At the Shop 'n Kart in Ashland, where Grubbs worked off and on since he was 18, customers have been filling change jars and donating money with their purchases since Tuesday, raising more than $10,000 for Grubbs' memorial service.
"From our regular everyday customers to people in town just for the holidays, there have been a lot of contributions," said store manager Vernon Hull. "I think people coming through our lines reading about, and realizing that they saw him in here all the time, made it more real."
There is a brief description of what happened to Grubbs at each of the Shop 'n Kart registers. In addition to cash, customers could charge donations of $2, $5, $10 and $20 on their cards.
Grubbs was found murdered on the Central Ashland Bike Path near the Hunter Park tennis courts at about 5:35 p.m. Nov. 19. An autopsy showed he was nearly decapitated by a weapon with a medium to large blade, police said.
Grubbs did not appear to have been robbed, police said. They said at this point in the investigation, they believe it was a random attack. "It's still kind of hard for us to talk about," said Hull. "Everyone misses him a lot."
Hull said it's nice to see the support from the community, and is grateful that the contribution from Shop 'n Kart will be able to take away some of the Grubbs family's material burden.
A family representative reached by phone Friday said, "We are absolutely grateful and so thankful for what the community is doing ... It's amazing to see."
An account at Rogue Federal Credit Union, which was set up to receive donations for Grubbs' memorial service, had more than $1,000 in it as of Friday morning, a representative from the credit union said.
Donations in the form of a check can be made out to "David Grubbs Memorial Service," and deposits also can be made into RFCU account No. 1515937.
A memorial service for family and friends will begin at 1 p.m. today at First United Methodist Church, 175 N. Main St., Ashland. There will be a reception immediately following the service.
The staff of Shop 'n Kart thanked the community in a letter circulated on Facebook: "We hope this brings some comfort to the family in this time of incomprehensible loss, and that they also feel the love and support of the community in dealing with this tragedy we have been shown every day since.
"They didn't just lose a son, and we just didn't lose a co-worker, the community at large lost someone that can never be replaced. No one is alone in their grieving right now."
The Ashland Police Department is giving community members a chance to discuss with officers the investigation into the homicide of David Michael Grubbs at a 6:30 p.m. forum Tuesday, Nov. 29, in the Ashland High School gymnasium.
Multiple phone message left with Ashland police were not returned Friday, and police have yet to name a suspect in the case. Chief Terry Holderness said investigators have some promising leads.
The investigation is continuing and police are requesting public help. Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Ashland police at 541-482-5211 or leave a tip at 541-552-2333.
Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-499-1470 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.