ASHLAND, Ore. — It remains one of Ashland’s most high profile crimes. Dave Lewis, a man family members say was a loving friend and father, was killed five years ago. The case remains a mystery.
While Lewis’s case never technically closed, it is receiving new life. Now it’s part of an interagency effort that includes the FBI, state police, and a team of crime analysts and investigators with the Sheriff’s Office.
It has been five years since Lewis was found dead in his burned-down cabin, but for his family, it may as well have been yesterday.
“It’s a big part of my life,” Lewis’s son, Casey, said. “He was not only my father, he was my best friend.”
Breathing new life into the investigation is a duo of retired agents. One local, one former FBI. Behind them, a team of analysts and detectives.
“What we’re looking for is something new,” Special Investigator with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Woody Pollock, said. “Some piece of evidence that may have been overlooked at the time.”
Lewis’s body was found in the charred rubble of his home on the summit of Dead Indian Memorial Road. That same day, another body was found, belonging to transient man Troy Carney. The deaths fueled speculation that the two were connected, but investigators say new evidence suggests otherwise.
“We can find absolutely no connection between the two investigations, because of that we are now treating them as separate homicide investigations,” Pollock added.
Now the immediate focus is on Lewis, a case considered to be more solvable. Lewis had a tumultuous history with law enforcement, but was loved by many and now that five years have passed, investigators say emotions of those close to him have settled, and that’s playing to their advantage.
“They have a tendency to start remembering things that they didn’t think were important, different behaviors, things that he may have told them,” Special Investigator and former FBI agent, Shawna Carroll, said.
Much of the investigation isn’t being revealed due to its sensitive nature, but they say they’ll continue to sort conjecture from fact, and won’t stop until it’s done.
“I don’t care who the victim was or what they did in life, they did not deserve to be murdered, and the people who did that do deserve to pay for their crime,” Pollock said.
Lewis’s family says justice can’t come soon enough.
“I just don’t feel safe with someone out there running around who is capable of causing that much destruction in people’s lives,” Casey Lewis said.
A $20,000 reward is being offered for any information that leads to an arrest in Lewis’s murder. There is also a $5,000 reward for those with credible info, even if it doesn’t lead to an arrest. If you have any information, contact the private tip line at 541-482-6017.