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Death of Cody Baize, whose body was found near Butte Falls, is being investigated as a murder

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office responded after someone reportedly stumbled upon the body on January 10 near Butte Falls.

Posted: Jan 10, 2020 10:13 AM
Updated: Jan 24, 2020 12:15 PM

BUTTE FALLS, Ore. — Investigators have confirmed that they are investigating the death of a Grants Pass man whose body was discovered earlier this month as a murder.

Deputies and detectives from the Jackson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO) launched a "suspicious death" investigation on the morning of Friday, January 10 after someone discovered a body northwest of Butte Falls.

The Sheriff's Office said that a caller reported spotting the body in a ditch along Cobleigh Road, about two miles west of Butte Falls Highway, at 7:47 a.m.

Investigators later confirmed that this was the body of an adult man. On Saturday, the Sheriff's Office identified the body as 28-year-old Cody Joseph Baize of Grants Pass. The agency said that he previously lived in Kentucky.

The area where Baize's body was found is rural and isolated, about 15 minutes northwest of Butte Falls. Officials closed down one lane of Cobleigh Road while more and more agencies responded to the scene, lining the right lane of the roadway with vehicles.

Most of the few other vehicles that passed through on Friday were trucks operated by loggers, working just a few miles up the road.

"Hopefully nothing bad happened," said Justin Campbell, a logger who has been in the industry for four years. "I mean things happen every day . . . I pray and hope for the family that everything gets figured out."

Campbell said that it isn't uncommon for loggers like him to come across something strange while on the job — but Friday's grisly discovery was something else entirely.

Mike Moran with JCSO said at the time that the agency was investigating Baize's death as "suspicious" and said that the Major Assault and Death Investigation Unit (MADIU) had been activated.

MADIU consists of elements from the Sheriff's Office, District Attorney's Office, Ashland Police, Central Point Police, Medford Police, and Oregon State Police. Moran said that the Jackson County Search and Rescue team and Roads Department also assisted at the scene.

On January 24, the Sheriff's Office announced that it had verified that the case was being investigated as a homicide.

"Investigators have been working on multiple leads and the case remains an on-going active investigation by the Jackson County Major Assault Death Investigation Unit," officials said. "There is no danger to the public regarding potential suspects in the case."

The agency said that it would hold a briefing for the public "when circumstances of the case allow" without damaging the integrity of the investigation.

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