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Body found near Needles identified as former Oregon corrections officer missing for five years

August 26, 2010 |  1:26 pm

A body found in a shallow grave 45 miles west of Needles, Calif., back in December has been identified as a former Oregon corrections officer and nightclub supervisor from Portland, Ore., who had been missing for five years, authorities said Thursday.

Ronald Lee Guy’s body was found by a driver on a desolate stretch near Interstate 40 and Essex Road in the Mojave Desert. Guy, 47, was reported missing in Portland in March 2005.

Homicide investigators said Guy had no ties to the region, and they’re still trying to piece together what brought him to the Needles area.

"At this point we don’t have any solid information as to why he was in Southern California," said San Bernardino County sheriff’s Det. Ryan Ford, who was in Oregon on Thursday working with Portland police.

Ford said they are pursuing some promising leads that developed when he was first reported missing but declined to provide any details, saying that doing so could jeopardize the murder investigation.

Guy worked as a corrections officer at the Columbia River Correctional Institution from 1990-1998, said prison spokeswoman Susan Erickson.

The circumstances surrounding his departure from the correctional facility are confidential, Erickson said. However, a short time later, Guy was convicted on drug charges and received 36 months probation, Erickson said.

-- Phil Willon