Murdered Ashland man nearly decapitated in attack, autopsy shows

Posted: 4:25 PM November 22, 2011

Autopsy results released by Ashland police today confirm that David Michael Grubbs was the victim of a homicidal attack that nearly decapitated him.

The 23-year-old’s body was found on the Central Ashland Bike Path near the Hunter Park tennis courts at about 5:35 p.m. Saturday. Police said he had been dead less than 30 minutes when the body was discovered.

While today’s autopsy revealed that “multiple sharp force injuries to the head and neck” killed Grubbs, police have identified the weapon only as “a very sharp, possibly medium to large-sized, edged weapon.”

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Police Chief Terry Holderness said exactly what the murder weapon was is still unclear.

“Here’s the thing: it’s a long bladed weapon,” he said, “but we’re just not sure at this point.

“One would think sword, but there are a lot of those types of weapons … a large knife, or a machete could have done it, and there are many other types of martial arts weapons.”

Police have said they do not believe there was any connection between Grubbs and his killer.

Holderness said “There is no evidence to support that it was a robbery.”

Holderness added that investigators have some “promising” leads, but he declined to elaborate.

Police are requesting anyone with information to call 541-482-5211. To leave an anonymous tip, call 541-552-2333.

Update: Comments from the police chief were added to this story at 5:27 p.m.

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