Franklin County deputies are looking for a red Toyota Corolla and seeking answers to why a Cottage Grove, Ore., man was found dead in Mesa, where he had no known ties.
Hikers found Jesse Ray Hines, 38, dead near an access road in an open park area near Mesa Elementary School on Aug. 24., said Franklin County coroner officials. The condition of his body made it hard to identify him.
The cause of death is unknown and lab results are not expected for several weeks.
No vehicle was found nearby, but relatives have told officials that Hines drove a red Toyota Corolla with Oregon license plates, said Jim Raymond, Franklin County sheriff.
The car has not been reported stolen and would’ve last been used by Hines, Raymond said.
Hines, who was originally from Cottage Grove and has ties in Idaho, had no known reason to be in Mesa, Raymond said.
“I believe we’ll come up with some sort of a reasonable conclusion to it all,” he said. “It’s just going to take a little time to work out the details.”
Hines was described as independent, and it was common for friends and relatives to not see him often, Raymond said. He was last seen sometime toward the end of July or beginning of August.
“The family members we’re talking to are being cooperative and giving us as much information as they can,” Raymond said.