A homicide investigation into the death of a Medford man found last week at the base of a steep cliff near Applegate Creek in Northern California continued Tuesday, and police think they are getting closer to finding a suspect.
Investigators returned to the site where Michael Christopher MacCallum's body was found Nov. 20, three days after his 34th birthday.
"We wanted to go out there one more time, just to make sure we didn't miss something," said Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey.
An autopsy was conducted Saturday, giving police additional clues, Lopey said. He declined to release the results, citing the investigation and additional tests that are still pending analysis.
"The autopsy did confirm the fact that he was murdered," Lopey said. "Definitely a homicide."
MacCallum last had been seen in an area around Hilt, Calif., where he'd gone on a camping trip. Search teams from Jackson and Siskiyou counties responded to the area when family members reported him missing Nov. 20.
Stella Lawrence, who is MacCallum's aunt, said he visited her at her home in Texas last summer. She said he was in good spirits and was looking forward to traveling back to Medford to get a job as a bartender.
"Whoever hurt him took a good man," Lawrence said. "His priority in life was to be a great father."
Lawrence said MacCallum had a 9-year-old daughter and a young stepson in Medford. His wife is originally from Medford. MacCallum grew up in Long Beach, Calif., Lawrence said.
Lawrence said MacCallum drove for Checker Cab in Medford. The company expressed sympathy toward MacCallum's family in a post on its Facebook page last weekend. It said MacCallum drove for the company for only a short time before his death.
In an odd twist, Lawrence said MacCallum's birthday was on Nov. 17, which was three days before his body was found by police. Another local cab driver, William "Huey" Huson, who drove for Valley Cab, was slain on his birthday in October. Police are still investigating that murder as well.
Search warrants have been served around the Medford area and additional evidence seized, according to a release Tuesday from the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office. The evidence gathered so far in the case is still being analyzed, it said.
Investigators are continuing to talk to family members and friends of MacCallum in an effort to reconstruct his activities and movements before his death.
"We're talking to some people we think have some information about what happened," Lopey said.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Department, Oregon State Police and Medford police are assisting with the investigation. Search and Rescue teams from Jackson and Siskiyou counties assisted with the initial search.
Anyone with information about MacCallum's death is asked to call Siskiyou County's 24-hour dispatch number at 530-841-2900.