Oregon State Police dispatched two detectives to California Tuesday to question a suspect in the death of a woman whose body was found Sunday in Winchester Bay.
OSP declined to name the suspect, though several news agencies in California, quoting San Francisco Bay area police sources, identified him as Jeffrey Griffin Boyce, 30, of North Bend.
A heavily armed Boyce was arrested Monday night in Marin County on suspicion of two carjackings. He was in custody today in the Marin County Jail.
He was to be arraigned today in Marin County Superior Court. Prosecutors planned to ask that Boyce be held without bail because of the violent nature of the carjackings and not for any criminal investigation in Oregon, Central Marin Police Authority Detective Cheryl Paris said.
OSP Lt. Doug Ladd, commander of the agency’s Roseburg office, said today authorities have tentatively identified the victim, but are withholding the name pending a positive identification. An autopsy was performed Tuesday.
A couple stopping at Wayfinding Point off Highway 101 three miles south of Reedsport found the body in blackberry bushes and called 911 at about 8:20 a.m. Sunday.
Investigators said the woman appeared to have been killed that morning. Wayfinding Point is a stopping spot to view the ocean and the Umpqua River Lighthouse.
Homicide investigators said Tuesday they served a search warrant at a residence in the Coos Bay area, but did not release any other information about the search.
The multiagency Douglas County Major Crimes Team, which includes state police, is investigating.
According to police, Boyce was arrested Monday night in the Greenbrae, Calif., area and is believed to be a Boston bombing sympathizer intent on reaching the Russian consulate in San Francisco to seek asylum.
Police suspect Boyce carjacked a man’s BMW station wagon at gunpoint in Rohnert Park and forced him to drive to a church around 4:30 p.m. Monday in neighboring Sonoma County, Rohnert Park Police Lt. Jeff Taylor said Tuesday.
Boyce then got out of the car and pulled several rifles from a truck he drove to the parking lot before the carjacking, placing them in the victim’s car. The victim was able to escape, Taylor said.
About two hours later, Boyce then apparently tried a second carjacking, this time a woman’s truck outside a shopping center in the Greenbrae area, police said.
The woman escaped, and Boyce was arrested a short time later, Taylor said.
The attempted carjacking victim, Tina Humphrey of Mill Valley, Calif., told KPIX-TV that she was terrified.
“He opened the door and I was like, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’ and he pulled a gun out of his left pocket and just put it up in my face,” Humphrey said.
Humphrey said she was unaware that there was an area manhunt for him. During that time, she tried to calm Boyce by showing him pictures of her children. A passer-by noticed what was occurring and called 911.
Meanwhile, Humphrey continued to talk calmly to Boyce as the authorities were en route.
“When he heard the sirens he said, ‘You shouldn’t have done that. I’m going to take you out.’ And I said, ‘What would that prove?’ ” Humphrey told the TV station. “He said, ‘I’m going to die anyway.’
“And earlier he said, ‘Might as well go out with a bang, right?’”
Boyce tried to flee on foot but was caught by police.
Rohnert Park police Sgt. Aaron Johnson said Boyce’s mother told police that her son is mentally ill. Johnson said a truck that Boyce was driving before the carjacking contained more than 200 rounds of assault rifle-style bullets and a loaded .22-caliber rifle.
According to authorities, Boyce’s mother had called in to warn police that he had been raving that the government was out to get him.
“She had indicated that he had talked about the recent bombing in Boston, as well as Colorado, and Columbine,” San Francisco Police Capt. Greg McEachern told KPIX. “She didn’t say he had a history of mental illness, she just said that in the last couple of weeks, he’d become extremely unstable and was ranting about the government, and she was concerned for him.”
Police believed he was heading to the Russian consulate in San Francisco. They say he had indicated that he was sympathetic to the Boston bombers in his ramblings. Police surrounded the consulate as a precaution Monday night.
“We can assume by that that he was probably sympathetic to some of the actions earlier and was going there to seek asylum,” McEachern said.
OSP investigators asked anyone with information about the case to the call OPS at 541-664-4600. Tips may be sent by email to crimetips2OSP@state.or.us.