SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – No arrests have been made in the killing of Richard Marshall, a 70-year old garden caretaker, police say.
"The death of a man who was the on-site caretaker of a community garden has been ruled a homicide," Springfield Police said Wednesday.
Police were called to 705 Flamingo Ave. at about 9:30 p.m. on Monday. The location is the address of the Food for Lane County Youth Farm, a large community garden. Marshall lived on the property in his RV and had been the volunteer caretaker at the Youth Farm since spring 2011. Marshall's son, Evin Marshall, said his fiance found his father deceased Monday. But it wasn't until a day later law enforcement began to investigate his death as a homicide.
"This kind of senseless violence is shocking in any setting but especially at a youth farm that's dedicated to working with young people and making a positive impact," Food for Lane County executive director Tom Mulhern said.
Evin said his father was one of the most caring and compassionate people he's met. He said he was very proud of him and his sisters. His son also said he was involved in the community. No matter where Marshall went, people could feel his warm and approachable energy.
"I live in the neighborhood. I used to visit Richard often," said Cyndee, a friend of the victim. "He was a really nice guy. He took a lot of pride in his garden."
Marshall was last seen alive on Friday morning.
Marshall's family set up a go-fund-me to help raise money for a memorial. If you would like to donate, you can click here. At last check, it has raised nearly $2,000.
Members of the Oregon State Police Crime lab also responded to help look for evidence.
The investigation is ongoing and police are asking anyone with information on any suspicious activity in the area to call Investigations at 541-726-3721.