Real Name: Eric M. Tamiyasu
Nicknames: No Known Nicknames
Location: Hood River, Oregon
Date: June 30, 2001
Details: Eric Tamiyasu was a forty-one-year-old native of Hood River, Oregon. His house was in a remote area outside of town, next to the fruit orchard business he owned and operated. In June of 2001, he invited his friend Diana Anderson over to his house for a date. Later that evening, they heard strange noises outside. First, they heard what sounded like knocking on the side of the house. Then, they heard the doorbell ring twice and the sound of someone walking away. This prompted the two to investigate. A single shoe print was found in the dirt, which was later washed away. Diana left Eric's house a few hours later and said goodbye to her friend.
A week later, Eric's friend and business consultant Don Dixon came to the house to check on him since he and several friends hadn't heard from him in a few days. Using a spare key, Don entered the home. In the bedroom, he came upon the gruesome sight of Eric's naked decomposed body on the bed. County Sheriff Joe Wampler noticed no evidence of foul play and believed that Eric had died naturally. Wampler decided to have Eric's bed and bedding burned in order to spare some grief for Eric's family.
The coroner revealed that Eric had been shot three times in the head and didn't die of natural causes like Sheriff Wampler stated. The advanced decomposition of his body had disguised the true nature of his death. The evidence was inadvertently destroyed which hindered chances of Eric's killer being brought to justice. At first, Eric's family and friends said that he had no enemies in the world and that they didn't understand why he was murdered. Although several suspects have since been identified in the case, Eric's murder remains unsolved.
Suspects: After he had Eric's bed burned, Sheriff Wampler became a suspect. Rumors circulated that Eric had been sleeping with Wampler's wife. The rumors were apparently confirmed by Don Dixon. He claimed that shortly before the murder, Eric had mentioned dating an older Polynesian woman, which matched the description of Wampler's wife. Wampler denied that his wife had an affair and claimed he was not responsible.
The second suspect became Eric's close friend and business partner Eric Smith. Dixon claimed that he overheard and intense argument between Smith and Tamiyasu a few weeks before the murder. Tamiyasu apparently felt that Smith was pocketing money from their business. Tamiyasu apparently needed $60,000 because of problems with his orchard business. After the argument, Dixon talked to Tamiyasu, who appeared upset because of the argument and the money. Smith denies this argument occurred and claims that Dixon is making up stories. Investigators found that the two had worked together, but that there was no financial problems between them.
The third suspect in the murder is Tamiyasu's alleged best friend, Don Dixon. Some believed that Dixon was not as close to Tamiyasu as he claimed to be. Smith claimed that Tamiyasu told him that Dixon was merely someone he "bought spray from" and was not a close friend. Smith also claims that most of Tamiyasu's friends don't even know Dixon.
Tamiyasu's sister Ramona claimed that she had a strange conversation with Don after he had found the body. Dixon had apparently told her that he had not found any "exit wounds" on his body, which greatly confused her. Dixon, however, claimed that he believed that Tamiyasu committed suicide and that was why he brought up "exit wounds". He claimed that Tamiyasu was depressed and may have been suicidal.
Investigators believe that the killer knew Eric, the location of his remote home, and its layout. The murder weapon, believed to be a small caliber handgun, has never been located. The three suspects later took polygraph tests, and while Wampler and Smith passed, Don Dixon's test results were inconclusive.
Diana Anderson believes that whoever was bothering her and Eric on the night of their date was the killer. They did find a footprint outside, but it was washed away by the time Eric's body was discovered.
Extra Notes: This segment originally aired on the July 26, 2002 episode of Unsolved Mysteries.
Results: Unsolved. Sadly, both of Eric's parents have since passed away without seeing a resolution to his case. However, more recently, it has been revealed that police have investigated a new suspect in the case: Diana's ex-boyfriend. According to investigators, he was capable of the "stalking-like behavior" witnessed that night. He is considered "high" on the list of suspects. However, he has never been publicly identified or charged, nor have any of the other suspects.
- Eric Tamiyasu on Unsolved.com
- Tamiyasu case: Rumors swirl around murder
- Tamiyasu murder draws national attention
- Local murder draws new exposure
- Family turns up heat on cold case
- The Sordid Life and Death of Eric Tamiyasu
- 'Somebody came for sole purpose of killing Eric’
- Eric Tamiyasu at Find a Grave