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Man arrested in hit-and-run

By Tom Hubka and Valliant Corley

Wescom Wire Service

BROOKINGS – Authorities have arrested and charged the primary suspect in the hit and run death of a Brookings jogger with one count of criminal negligent homicide.

Raymond E. Boggs, 82, was arraigned Tuesday afternoon and was granted a conditional release until his next court appearance, scheduled for 9 a.m. June 26.

Based on the initial investigation, police are almost certain Boggs, who lives off Cape Ferrelo Road, struck Sam G. Garrett, 61, as he jogged along Highway 101 just south of Lone Ranch Beach Friday evening.

Garrett's wife, Kathy Baker, reported him missing Friday night when he failed to return home. His body was found about 10 feet off the road by a friend early Saturday morning.

"I just want to make sure he's not back on the road," Curry County Circuit Court Judge Jesse Margolis said at the arraignment. "I will allow conditional release. There will be no driving."

Margolis instructed Boggs to turn over any keys to his car to his attorney, Patrick Foley.

Margolis asked District Attorney Everett Dial if there was anything else.

"Essentially, stay in his house and not leave unless in the company of somebody else," Dial said. "I don't care who it is."

Margolis ordered. "He will remain on the property where his residence is located unless in the company of somebody else."

Boggs was arraigned on the charge of criminal negligent homicide. Foley acknowledged receipt and waived reading of the arraignment.

"Mr. Boggs has no criminal history of any sort – not even a prior traffic infraction on his record," Dial said.

Dial also said Boggs' neighbor, Buddy Cappello, has disabled Boggs' car, a 1991 white Chevrolet Camaro.

"He has indicated he has no recollection at all of the event," Dial said of Boggs. "But there is circumstantial evidence."

That evidence is growing, according to Brookings Police Lt. John Bishop. More people have been coming forward with information that is leading authorities to the same conclusions, he said.

"It's still pointing that way," Bishop said.

Foley told the court that he had helped Boggs when his wife died and he had been to Foley's office.

It was still a day of mourning for friends and family Tuesday as they remembered a man who they say loved life.

"He was my whole world," Baker said, crying. "He was a wonderful person."

The couple has been married for 35 years and had celebrated their anniversary earlier this month. They had been vacationing in Brookings for 15 years and had moved here one year ago.

"This was our dream to move here and we finally did," she said. "He was just a picture of health. Everybody was shocked."

Baker said Garrett's kindness was exemplified by his love of animals, especially dogs. When the couple found an old, stray dog this winter, Garrett cared for it throughout the rest of its life.

"He said, ‘We need to give it a good life, Kathy, and show it what it's life should have been about,'" she said.

Garrett ended up spending $600 on the dog.

Tamara Townsend lives two houses down from the couple. She said Tuesday the community had lost not just a resident, but a friend.

"It seems like everybody that met Sam instantly liked him and felt that they had known him," Townsend said. "He loved life and that's what makes me so sad."

Near the front of the couple's house lies a sign that reads, "Live every day on Earth as if you were in heaven."

"That's how he lived his life," Townsend said. "This was heaven to him and now he's gone."

According to authorities, Garrett was reported missing by Baker Friday night after he did not return home from jogging. The couple live on Mill Beach Road in Brookings, and Garrett often drove his car north of town and parked to jog along the highway.

His car was found the night of June 16, but he remained missing.

Members of the Curry County Search and Rescue were scheduled to scour the area Saturday morning, but a group of 20 friends and family, who were already searching, found the body and called 9-1-1.

Later that morning, according to Bishop, a Brookings Police officer learned that a white Camaro had reportedly run off the highway Friday night near where Garrett was struck. The officer knew of a man, Boggs, living in the area with a similar car and went to his Cape Ferrelo Road home, where he found the damaged car and possible DNA evidence on the front end.

Evidence has been sent to the Oregon State Police Crime Lab to be analyzed. It could take several weeks for the results to be known, Bishop said.

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