Happening nearby: Report that suspect was in apartment with dead roommate for days

A 62-year-old Edmonds man remains in Snohomish County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond in connection with the death of his 45-year-old female roommate, who reportedly had been dead for three days in the Edmonds apartment she shared with the suspect before the man called police.

According to probable cause documents filed with the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office, the man called 911 on Dec. 19 to report that his roommate was dead. Edmonds police officers responding to the call found the victim in the living area of the studio apartment in the 8100 block of 236th Street Southwest, sitting with her face against the floor. There was blood throughout the apartment, including the carpet, the kitchen floor and refrigerator, the bathroom floor and sink, and several walls. According to the documents, the victim had a laceration to her chin and forehead and “a significant amount” of dried blood on her feet. Investigators also found blood on the bed and bedding, on two cell phones in the living area and a large blood imprint on one of the closet doors.

After police arrived on the scene, they interviewed the man, who said he believed the victim may have overdosed and fallen. The man was staggering around and “extremely intoxicated,” the report said, telling investigators he drank large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis as well taking medication. The man relayed that he had been in the apartment for three days since the woman had fallen and that she hadn’t moved since.

Police noted that the suspect was wearing a pair of blue jeans “that had a significant amount of blood on one of the pant legs.”

According to the report, a medical investigator for the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office who examined the deceased woman at the scene said that her chin and forehead injuries “could be consistent with falling and hitting her head or chin on a hard surface.” Based on statements from the roommate and the known injuries, authorities initially believed the woman’s death may have been accidental, the report said.

However, a Dec. 21 autopsy by the medical examiner revealed that the victim suffered at least five blunt-force impact injuries on her head, resulting in internal bleeding. Because the injuries were in “varying locations,” it isn’t likely that they were accidental, the medical examiner said. There was also a blunt-force injury to the woman’s nose and upper cheek bones that was “indicative of someone stomping her face with their foot,” the report noted.

After learning of the medical examiner’s report, on Dec. 21 Edmonds police arrested the woman’s roommate — who was still wearing the same bloodstained clothes that he wore on Dec. 19 — for second-degree murder and transported him to the police station for questioning. The man repeated his assertion that the victim had fallen three times in the apartment — once in the kitchen, once in the bathroom and the third time next to the closet. The man admitted to police that the two of them argued Dec. 15 but reiterated that he didn’t kill her.

The suspect was transported to Snohomish County Jail that evening and booked on the murder charge, with bond set at $1 million. He is scheduled for a court hearing on Tuesday.

My Edmonds News generally doesn’t name suspects in criminal cases until they are formally charged with a crime.

Edmonds police spokesman Sgt. Josh McClure said earlier this week that while the man and woman were roommates, the extent of their relationship beyond that is not yet known. Detectives requested search warrants as part of their ongoing investigation, McClure said.

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