Sam grider a buckeye man goes from missing to legally dead gas relief for babies home remedy

It’s believed the former Maricopa County Sheriff‘s Office posseman eased his Chevy pickup onto a dusty desert road near Mobile to bypass Wednesday’s rush hour. He passed a fire station, inched along a landfill and skirted Sonoran Desert National Monument.

Grider was a devout shortcut taker, comfortable using back roads and navigating remote Valley paths. Twenty years with the posse, a career in the military and stints as a private investigator and state law enforcer made him comfortable with his own compass.

In most states, including Arizona, you need a body to declare someone deceased, the exception being a five-year window when the person is gone and truly without a trace. The technicality hinders closure among loved ones and stalls the process of divvying up someone’s assets, from insurance payouts to land and possessions.

Born in Alabama, Grider enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served for more than two decades, service records show. Sgt. 1st Class Grider was awarded the Army Commendation Medal on Sept. 14, 1981, for two years of work with the Army Criminal Investigation command.

"Throughout his career, Sergeant Grider served with distinction in many and various positions of great responsibility," according to a military certificate marking the achievement. "Sergeant Grider’s dedication and devotion to duty reflect the utmost credit upon himself, the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command and the military service."

After his military service, Grider came to Arizona, where he worked as an officer for the Arizona Department of Corrections and, later, a criminal investigator for the state Registrar of Contractors. He looked into homeowners’ and citizens’ complaints and busted unlicensed contractors. He also probed white-collar schemes, nabbing embezzlers and organized gangsters, according to employment records.

In 1993, he established Grider Investigative Services. Paperwork described Grider Investigative Services as conducting surveillance and "discreet private investigations for clients," focusing primarily on property crime and evidence security.

"The man always had his thoughts about him," said Sam Grider Jr., who lives in the Valley and learned about his father’s disappearance when he turned on the evening news one night in 2014. "He was a person that analyzed everything. He was trained to think outside the box." Teresa and the cross-county drive

He recently had bought a home in southwest Buckeye, moving from the longtime residence he shared with his wife, Teresa. The two had met at a Tempe restaurant when they were 38 years old — he answered a personal ad, before the Match.com era, Teresa quipped from her Queen Creek home.

After a thorough search and private investigation, Asimou successfully argued for Smith’s death declaration, setting his precedent for pursuing missing persons cases. Since then he has taken a handful of other cases that don’t fit neatly into an open-closed case file.

After 20 years in the military, two decades with the Maricopa County Sheriff‘s Office posse and a stint as an investigator for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Grider didn’t fit that stereotype. The more Asimou dug, the quicker he came to believe investigators missed steps at critical junctures.

A 1972 International Scout truck that had been parked at home was involved in a June 2015 rollover wreck on a Valley freeway while it was being towed. The driver said he was hired to clear out abandoned houses — including the ransacked Grider home, apparently.

In spring 2017, Asimou hired Steve Bailey and Jennifer Johnson to lead a follow-up investigation into Grider’s disappearance. Only after this deeper dive into the case could Asimou argue before a judge that Grider was missing and presumed dead.

Together, they reviewed initial parts of the investigation, combing through police reports and case files. They analyzed phone records and consulted another local private investigator, Randy Anglin of Lionstrike LLC, who flies drones to search desert areas for missing persons, homicide victims or individuals in some need of help.

On a Saturday in October, 30 of Grider’s friends and acquaintances assembled at Mobile Elementary School and bounced down the dirt road to the wash where his truck was found. They fanned out and hiked through desert terrain for four hours looking for any signs of Grider.

In the two-hour proceeding, Teresa Grider, Berson and Bailey took the witness stand to tell their version of the story of Sam Grider. Staring at her desk, the judge only occasionally interjected to pose questions, leaving most of the examination to Asimou and his associates.

"The facts and circumstances surrounding Sam’s disappearance on Sept. 10, 2014, are sufficient to support a finding by clear and convincing evidence that he has died." Passamonte wrote. "It is further ordered declaring that Samuel L. Grider Sr. died on Feb. 2, 2018."

Wearing all black and seated in the courtroom corner, the younger Grider looked on as legal speak swirled about finally declaring his father deceased. He said he sees his dad everywhere. Somebody giving the investigation one more look helped, he said.

"I will never stop looking until I get to the end of it. I don’t care if it takes my last breath. And I don’t care what people say," Sam Grider Jr. said. "If I was missing, he wouldn’t stop. I think I owe it to him. This country owes it to him, too, to figure out what really happened."