BURNS Authorities have confirmed that the man found dead of a gunshot to the head last week near Burns was a fugitive from Indiana, wanted for investment fraud more than a decade ago.
Phillip Lloyd Ferguson, aka Roy Vernon Cox, 62, died after fleeing a confrontation with police in Harney County.
Officers fired shots as he drove off in a pickup truck, but an autopsy determined that the man died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, from a single shot from a small caliber firearm.
The incident began about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, as Harney County Sheriff David Glerup and Sgt. Brian Needham, accompanied by an FBI special agent, were driving to a remote residence off Taylor Road on a tip that the fugitive from Indiana was living in the area.
Driving on a dirt road, they saw a pickup truck coming toward them on a parallel dirt road, separated by a fence, and noticed that the truck had a rifle hanging on a rack inside. Both vehicles came to a stop; the officers and the pickup driver got out and spoke briefly before the man got back into the truck and fled.
The sheriff and sergeant both fired at least one shot at the fleeing vehicle.
The pickup truck stopped about a quarter-mile away from the confrontation site. The officers found the man dead inside, with a gunshot wound to the head and a rifle lying next to him on the seat.
Emergency medical workers were dispatched, but the man was dead at the scene.
Oregon State Police (OSP) Criminal Investigation Division detectives, assisted by the Harney County District Attorneys Office, investigated the death.
According to The Associated Press, Ferguson was a stockbroker and financial consultant who went missing more than a decade ago. He disappeared as a federal investigation began into whether his business bilked investors out of $30 million.
Fergusons case was featured on Americas Most Wanted, which noted his aliases, including Roy Vernon Cox. He reportedly had moved to the Burns area to try farming.