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.”