SELAH, Wash. — Authorities say they have no developments to report in the homicide investigation of two Yakima men whose bodies were found in a car in the Yakima River Canyon last month.
A spokesman for the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office, which is the lead investigating agency, said he was reluctant to discuss the case in detail. To date, no arrests have been made.
“We don’t want to release anything that could jeopardize the investigation,” Undersheriff Clay Myers said.
The bodies of Michael Kevin Eby Jr., 36, and Ryan Michael Pederson, 35, were found in a car Dec. 21 just off of State Route 821 near the Roza Dam. Both men had been shot.
Known as the Yakima River Canyon, the area is north of Selah and just across the Yakima County line. That made it a Kittitas County case, its first homicide since 2011.
The car, which belonged to Eby’s father, was spotted in a field by a passing motorist. An investigating state trooper saw Pederson’s a body in the backseat. Eby’s body was found later that day in the trunk. However, authorities did not announce discovery of a second body for several more days.
Although Myers was reluctant to discuss specifics, he did confirm reports that Eby’s body was bound. He also said the car’s engine was still running when the first body was discovered.
Myers said he was unable to say “one way or another” where the homicides occurred. Yakima police detectives are assisting in the investigation.
“It’s just one of those cases where we can’t release a lot until we get a clear direction where the case is going,” Myers said.
Pederson’s mother, Jennifer Pederson, told the Yakima Herald-Republic last week that her son had known Eby for several years and had occasionally worked for him in construction.
She said her son lived with her and her husband and was not employed at the time of his death. She said he was single, had no children and was an avid golfer.
Her son went out with a friend the night before his body was discovered, she said, adding she was not positive but believes he was picked up by Eby. She said she did not know where they went.
She said she believes her son was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.