Sam Strange was a 21-year-old dishwasher when he slaughtered two Grass Valley girls – Dawn Renee Donaldson and Christina Maria Campbell on September 29, 2014.
The bodies of the two teenage girls were on August 2nd discovered about 100 feet off Ponderosa Way south of Highway 20. Both Dawn and Christina had been dead for at least 10 days before they found their decomposing bodies. Sam Strange became Nevada County Sheriff’s prime suspect after several friends of the victims reported that he drove the girls to his residence “to party with Sam.” Strange’s story to investigators was different, telling them the girls stayed only 20 minutes before “going to hitchhike to Grass Valley to party.”
Prosecutor Michael W. Ferguson said at Strange’s preliminary hearing was a “classic case of circumstantial evidence held together by two threads”. The threads Ferguson was referring to was botanical evidence connecting the two girls to Strange’s residence, which he told investigators that they were, and two plastic bags detectives found near the decomposing bodies that contained Strange’s fingerprints. Department of Justice criminalist Fay Ann Springer testified that the bags contained dried flakes of blood and a strand of hair similar to victim Christina Campbell. Ferguson told the court that “the inference being that those bags were used literally as body bags to transport the girls from where they were killed to where they were found.” A large, wood-handled ax was also found connected to the slaying of the two girls. The ax, blunt on one side and sharp on the other, divers pulled from a pond at the rear of the Strange property.