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Community grieves loss of Grady Waxenfelter

Prime suspect Dirck Morgan White still on the run


by: CONTRIBUTED - Clackamas County Weighmaster Grady Waxenfelter was shot to death the morning of Thursday, Feb. 6. Waxenfelter was a motorcycle enthusiast and an elder at the Estacada First Baptist Church. Several friends, including Estacada Mayor Brent Dodrill, shared their memories of Waxenfelter with the Estacada News.The Estacada community is mourning the loss of Grady Waxenfelter, who was shot to death at Highway 224 and Amisigger Road the morning of Thursday, Feb. 6.

While the search for Waxenfelter’s killer continues, the Estacada community is only beginning to cope with grief at their sudden loss of a great friend.

“He was just one of those guys who had a wonderful combination of strength and stability,” said Estacada Mayor Brent Dodrill, who referred to Waxenfelter as a close friend.

Dodrill, who is also the lead pastor at the Estacada First Baptist Church, said that Waxenfelter had been a church elder for more than a decade.

The two would often ride motorcycles together along with other men from the church.

Dodrill described Waxenfelter as a motorcycle and car enthusiast and devoted family man.

“He was one of those tough and tender sort of guys,” Dodrill said. “Just a great loss not just for his family but for all of us who knew him.”

Bob Underwood, fondly remembered his friend as a “gear head” with “unbelievable wit” and a “humble spirit.”

“It’s probably one of the biggest traits I admired about him, his humble spirit,” Underwood said.

Friend Mark Hambelton spoke of Waxenfelter’s devotion to God.

“He’s with God now. He loved Jesus. We know he’s there with him now, but it’s hard to let him go,” Hambelton said.

Hambelton spoke of Waxenfelter’s passion for his Harley Davidson and said he’d ride year round.

“He sure didn’t look like an elder of the Church,” Hambelton joked.

“Grady would never say anything bad about anybody,” said Chamber Administrator Connie Redmond, who attended the same church. “Grady did not have an angry bone in his body.”

Redmond said those who knew him have been hit hard by the loss of this “fabulous guy.”

Friends expressed support for Waxenfelter’s family, including his wife Tedra; son Austin and daughters Alissa and Jeslyn.

Pastor Masami Yamamoto described Waxenfelter’s devotion to his family, saying he’d “do anything” for his wife and children.

“His family played more board games than anyone I know just because it kept everyone around the table laughing together,” Yamamoto said.

Yamamoto praised Waxenfelter’s compassion and explained Waxenfelter had even fixed his car a number of times.

Yamamoto gave some details of Waxenfelter’s life. He’d married his high school sweetheart, Tedra, and spent time in the Army, a gig which took him to Germany.

According to a press release issued by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Waxenfelter “came to Clackamas County in 1987 as a mechanic, was promoted to senior mechanic in 1999” before becoming a county weighmaster in 2005.

The Estacada First Baptist Church dedicated a sermon on Sunday, Feb. 9, to Waxenfelter on the subject of dealing with grief. It is available on the church’s website at estacadafirstbaptist.org

A funeral service has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Estacada First Baptist Church.

The Clackamas County Peace Officers Benevolent Foundation has set up a donation fund for the Waxenfelter family to help them through this difficult time.

Donations may be made at any Clackamas County Federal Credit Union Branch or mailed to CCPOBF, P.O. Box 678, Clackamas, OR 97015.

Checks should be made to “CCPOBF” with “Grady Waxenfelter Fund” in the memo line.

All of the donations will go directly to the Waxenfelter family.

Thursday, Feb. 6

At the recommendation of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Estacada schools were placed under a level-one lockdown for about two hours despite a planned early release due to inclement weather.

Meanwhile, deputies had closed portions of Highway 224 and Amisigger Road as the Crime Reconstruction and Forensic Team and Crime Scene Investigation personnel gathered evidence for several hours after the homicide took place.

by: COURTESY OF CLACKAMAS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - Dirck Morgan White is a suspect in the murder.The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office soon after named Dirck Morgan White, 41, of Edgefield, Wash., as the prime suspect in the murder.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Waxenfelter, in his capacity as Clackamas County weighmaster, had reportedly pulled White over for hauling wood in a truck trailer without a license plate.

White was working as a delivery driver for O’Malley Brothers Trucking at the time of the homicide.

The company has been cooperating with authorities in this investigation.

White also is wanted for a weapon’s offense and is a suspect in a case involving the rape of a child in Pierce County, Wash.

by: COURTESY OF CLACKAMAS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - White is believed to be driving a a silver four-door 2004 Mercedes 320 with the Washington license plate ANB7070.He is believed to be driving a silver four-door 2004 Mercedes 320 with the Washington license plate ANB7070.

White is considered armed and dangerous, police warn citizens not to engage him.

Any siting of White or his vehicle should be reported to 9-1-1 immediately, police say.

Clackamas County is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to White’s arrest. O’Malley Brothers Trucking is offering another $2,500.

U.S. marshals have joined the Sheriff’s Office in the manhunt for White.



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