The cold case murder of Eric Tamiyasu - Hood River, Oregon - June 30, 2001

In June 2001, 41-year-old Eric Tamiyasu and his good long-term girlfriend Diana Anderson decided to go on a first date to find out if they were romantically compatible. Anderson visited Eric at his remote, out-of-town home in Hood River, Oregon. It was next to a fruit orchard business that Eric ran.

During their date, the two heard strange noises from outside that night. It seemed like someone was knocking on the side of the house. At one point the doorbell rang twice, but when Eric opened the door there was no one to be seen. He heard footsteps walking away. Both Eric and Diana found it rather scary, and a few hours later they said goodbye to each other.

In the days following Diana's date, Eric didn't speak to anyone. Friend and business consultant Don Dixon says he received calls from friends of Eric asking why they couldn't reach him. He decided to drive to the house a week after Eric and Diana's date to see if everything was going well. Using a spare key, Don entered the house through the back door, and immediately smelled a strange odor he had never smelled before. He went looking for Eric. In the bedroom, he made a shocking discovery when he saw Eric's naked and decomposed body lying on his bed. After saying a prayer, Don Dixon called the police. It was clear that Eric had died.

When the police arrived at the scene, they suspected that Eric had died an accidental death. Nothing in the house pointed to a felony or foul play. Eric's body also had no traces of trauma or violence. There were no bullet holes, shells, or murder weapon. While the body was being removed from his home, Don Dixon was asked by County Sheriff Joe Wampler if he would burn the bed to spare Eric's family the unpleasant details. No sooner said than done. Nothing remained of the bed except the steel frame.

Eric turned out to be murdered
The day after the bed was burned, a specialist began the autopsy on Eric's body. Who made the shocking discovery of three .22 bullets inside Tamiyasu's head. Natural death turned out to be a heinous crime. A painful conclusion was that perhaps crucial evidence had gone up in smoke the day before. It put Sheriff Wampler in a bad light. It fact it even made him a suspect in the murder.

Suspicious persons in the case
The motive for the murder was very difficult to determine. According to Eric Tamiyasu's family, he had no enemies at all and lived a quiet life in which he did not interfere with many people. He wouldn't have had any conflicts.

Eric Smith
But according to friend Don Dixon, that wasn't quite true. He said he recently picked up a conversation between business partner Eric Smith and the victim. The namesakes had a small company together that sold cars. According to Don, it was a big argument and it was about Eric Tamiyasu accusing the other Eric of embezzling about $60,000. If that were true, it would have given Eric Smith a motive for the murder. However, he denied having had anything to do with the crime, and said that there had been no discussion about money at all. According to him, he owed no money to Eric, and Eric did not owe him. According to Eric, they were best friends, and Tamiyasu was even his best man at his wedding. Eric Smith passed a polygraph test

Sheriff Joe Wampler
Don Dixon also had another interesting testimony. According to him, Eric had recently told him to have a new relationship with a married Polynesian woman. He had not mentioned a name, but at the time of the murder about six thousand residents lived in small Hood River. In percentage terms, residents from Polynesia were few. Coincidentally, Sheriff Wampler had a Polynesian wife. If his wife had an affair with Eric, the sheriff had motive. Wampler pointed the rumor to the land of a thousand fables. Sheriff Joe Wampler also passed a polygraph test

Don Dixon
Don Dixon, who knowingly or unknowingly made Eric Smith and Joe Wampler suspects, also had questionable actions of his own. For example, when he discovered Eric's body, he had called Eric's sister with the tragic news that he had found her brother dead. Strangely enough, he had also told her that there were no exit wounds. At the time, however, it was not known at all that Eric had been killed by a firearm, and there was no gun anywhere. Dixon later stated that at the time of finding the body he thought Eric had committed suicide because he was depressed. 

Another thing that automatically made Dixon suspicious was that he had a spare house key. So he would have had the opportunity to enter the house without breaking in. According to people close to Eric, Don Dixon wasn't as close as he makes it out to be. Some even said that Don would only have been Eric's business contact. Then why did he have a house key? A question that was never clearly answered. Don Dixon's test results from an independently administered polygraph were inconclusive, according to the sheriff's department.

Ex-boyfriend Diana
The police later found out that an ex-boyfriend of Eric's date Diana Anderson had a history of stalking behavior. The events during the date outside the house could also be called a kind of stalking behavior. Diana stated that after the bell rang, they went outside to look and found a footprint in the mud. When the murder came to light, the print had rained off. Had someone slipped in while Eric and Diana were out? It's a question that hasn't been answered yet. The course of the possible investigation into the ex-boyfriend is not shared by the authorities. So we can't say for sure if he's being looked at.

Information and tips
In any case, the police say they think the killer went in to kill Eric, and for no other reason. The hope for new information is great. Someone must know about the murder. Is that you? Do you know more about Eric's murder? Then let us know now. Don't hesitate and get in touch now (anonymously) using the form below. 

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