WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Man arrested in roommate’s strangulation death

(WSB photo, January 10th)

12:24 PM: After none in 2019, West Seattle has its first homicide case of 2020. On January 10th, neighbors told us about a police response in the 4500 block of 40th SW. Police would only tell us that they were investigating a serious injury suffered by someone in the residence but weren’t sure if a crime was committed. We’ve been following up but received no new information, until today. SPD now says the victim died and her 25-year-old roommate has been arrested:

On January 10th, the 25-year-old man called 911 and said he had found his roommate, a 41-year-old woman, unresponsive at the bottom of a staircase in their shared home in the 4500 block of 40th Avenue SW.

Patrol officers, concerned about the circumstances of the incident, called for homicide detectives to respond to the scene. Medics transported the woman to Harborview Medical Center, where she died three days later.

Homicide detectives conducted an initial interview with the 25-year-old man, and then released him from the scene. The detectives continued to investigate and, after the woman’s death on January 13th, police interviewed the man once again, leading them to book him into the King County Jail for homicide.

The King County Jail roster shows the suspect is jailed in lieu of $2 million bail. We’ll be checking with prosecutors for bail-hearing documents and will add anything more we find out.

12:59 PM: Added a photo we had taken while checking with police on January 10th. Also just received the probable-cause document from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. It says the victim never regained consciousness and “had injuries on her neck that were inconsistent with a fall down the stairs”; the suspect had “what appeared to be fresh scratches/abrasioons to his arms and chest.” The document says that after the Medical Examiner determined the victim was killed by strangulation, the suspect told police he strangled her and “threw her down the stairs to make it look like an accident.”

21 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Man arrested in roommate's strangulation death"

  • HS January 22, 2020 (2:40 pm)

    National Domestic Violence HotlineNational Domestic Violence Hotline can help victims, survivors of domestic violence. Call 1- 800-799-7233

  • Concerned parent January 22, 2020 (3:47 pm)

    Holy Cannoli.  The name on the jail roster notes he worked child care for the salvation army for the last 4 years.  

  • furor scribendi January 22, 2020 (4:59 pm)

    This is chilling and terrible. May the victim’s family and friends be comforted, and justice be done to the perpetrator.

  • Appalled January 22, 2020 (5:11 pm)

    Disgusting! This is horrible! This is the 2nd time in the past couple of years I have heard about a local Seattle woman being killed by her male roommate. Remember the woman in Wallingford a year or two ago who was stabbed to death? I just feel like the saying holds true, “A man’s biggest fear is that a woman will laugh at him, a woman’s biggest fear is that a man will kill her.” 

  • Junction Lady January 22, 2020 (5:32 pm)

    This is madness!  Who is this person who strangled a woman and throws her down the stairs?  

    • WSB January 22, 2020 (5:41 pm)

      He is not yet charged so we are not publishing his name. He’s due back in court tomorrow so that may be when we find out about charges, if not sooner.

    • Jenna G. January 23, 2020 (12:42 pm)

      His name is Solomon Whitt. 

      • WSB January 23, 2020 (9:02 pm)

        And he is now charged; followup to come.

  • Joe January 22, 2020 (8:48 pm)

    This was my wifes friend and she has 2 young children. Keep them in your thoughts.  

    • Elissa January 23, 2020 (12:01 am)

      She was literally a friend to everyone in West Seattle. How anyone could murder her is horrifying, overwhelming.

      • Jessica January 23, 2020 (12:44 pm)

        Her kindness and concern for others made her feel like a true friend even to acquaintances. I guess she really let God’s love radiate through her. There are so many people grieving in West Seattle now.

  • Abigail Huget January 22, 2020 (9:21 pm)

    This is so sad and my heart aches for her family. May justice be done!😥

  • ACG January 22, 2020 (9:29 pm)

    I was hoping, for the sake of her children, that the details surrounding her passing wouldn’t be publicized. She was an amazing woman and an incredible mother who loved her children dearly. Please keep her family in your thoughts, and if you pray, please pray for them. 

    • wsresident January 22, 2020 (10:16 pm)

      I agree. I really wish it didn’t have to be so publicized, especially with a photo of the house. The family is already going through enough…

  • Westgirl January 22, 2020 (9:35 pm)

    She was my neighbor, how incredibly sad and scary!  My heart goes out to her family and friends. 

  • Alki resident January 23, 2020 (1:25 am)

    How old are the children? Is there a Gofundme set up yet?

    • JPS January 23, 2020 (7:02 am)

      HOW TO GIVE: You may give financially online at http://www.trinityws.com/give and select “Jana’s Family Care Fund”   

    • Mom January 23, 2020 (12:47 pm)

      They’re elementary students 

  • WSGirl January 23, 2020 (10:12 am)

     I believe this should be publicized so the West Seattle community can help support the family.Thanks to JPS for “how to give” link so others can donate.

  • Tina January 23, 2020 (1:41 pm)

    I went to high school with her. This is so sad. My heart goes out to her family, especially her kids

  • LG January 23, 2020 (9:37 pm)

    So sad. She was an amazing mother to 2 beautiful kids. 

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