The son of a community garden caretaker found murdered in Springfield last week says the family still wants answers from authorities.
Evin Marshall said his father, Richard, was a straight-talking handyman at the Food for Lane County Youth Farm. Known by many as “Big Rich”, he lived in the Eugene-Springfield area for 40 years.
Evin said his dad was the kind of person who’d try to help you with your problems, even if he had just gotten to know you.
“If you were a kid who was struggling with school or parents, he was the kind of guy you could go to," he told KLCC.
"I’ve so many friends that told me that when they were kids, having a time fighting with their folks, whatever, they could go to my Dad and talk to an adult that would give them completely unvarnished truth.
"My dad was really loving and caring, but he’s also really honest. He’d call you on your stuff when you were making mistakes.”
Marshall said since his fiancé found his father’s body last week, they’ve gotten little information on the cause of death. But he added the death certificate is expected Tuesday, which could reveal some things.
Evin added that his dad had been planning to finish his job as a caretaker for the youth farm. The elder Marshall would then move to Salt Lake City where two of his daughters have started families, including an 18-month old boy.
“It’s just so sad that he never got to meet his grandson. He was always upset that he didn’t know his grandparents, and that he wishes he’d would’ve put his kids in a better position to know their grandparents.
"And he said that he’ll be dammed if his grandkids don’t know their grandpa. All he wanted to do is teach the kids about the family history, teach the kids about being a good person.”
Evin says his father also attended Lane Community College, and studied art.
As for community support following his father's death, he said it's been overwhelming. Friends have been generous with meal trains and donations while a GoFundMe account has exceeded its original amount. The money raised is intended to cover family travel expenses and a memorial service, with the remainder going to a Border Collie rescue program.
Local authorities have no updates on the case at this time. Tips can be called in to the Springfield Police at (541)726-3721.
Copyright 2021, KLCC.