CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Victims found off Duwamish Head were shot to death

(WSB photo, June 19th)

3;30 PM: One day after Seattle Police announced that the “remains” found off Duwamish Head June 19th were that of a woman and a man, their names and causes of death have just been made public. The King County Medical Examiner’s Office says both died of gunshot wounds. The woman was identified as 35-year-old Jessica Lewis; the man, 27-year-old Austin Wenner. The date of death for both was listed as June 16th, three days before a suspicious-smelling suitcase brought police to the scene. SPD told us yesterday – before the names were made public – that they had been in contact with both victims’ families. We’re working to find out more and will update with anything additional.

3:43 PM: A social-media search brought up a page for an Austin Wenner, from Kent, who posted in 2015 that he was “in a relationship” with a Jessica Lewis, from Federal Way. Continuing to research …

30 Replies to "CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Victims found off Duwamish Head were shot to death"

  • ACG July 1, 2020 (3:35 pm)

    My condolences to the families and friends of the victims. 

  • Graciano July 1, 2020 (3:37 pm)

    Were the two victims from Seattle ?

    • WSB July 1, 2020 (3:59 pm)

      If they are the people with those names we found on social media – we can’t assume it, nor can we assume photos’ authenticity, without multiple layers of verification, which we don’t have yet – apparently not. Still looking.

      • Nino Michaels July 2, 2020 (12:06 am)

        They were homeless, but generally from the South Puget Sound area (Federal Way/Kent/Auburn/Puyallup/etc).  Austin went by the street name of “Cash” (ironic as he rarely had two nickels to rub together) and Jessica went by Jessica.  The pictures from Facebook are accurate.  I knew them, though not extremely well, but well enough to be shocked by this.Cash had a mouth on him, but was generally nonviolent.  Jessica was a quiet (perhaps because Cash talked so much), sweet girl who I can’t imagine why anyone would want to shoot. They weren’t the most productive members of society, but they weren’t horrible people.  This is very sad.

        • WSB July 2, 2020 (12:33 am)

          Thank you. That corresponds with some more research I’ve done that turned up various misdemeanor cases against him; in the one with the most significant paperwork, they were walking together in Auburn in Novmmber 2016 when an officer stopped them for crossing against the light; he was found to have a shaved key on him and was arrested.

          • Eddie July 2, 2020 (7:24 am)

            Maybe the wrong place to ask or discuss, but how does getting contacted by law enforcement for crossing against a light end up with a search that turns up a “shaved key” and arrest?

          • WSB July 2, 2020 (10:57 am)

            According to the court document, he was frisked by police because the officer ran both their names and he had a warrant (for a drug violation); it was found in his pocket. There are no felonies on his docket, all misdemeanors; I can’t look her up because it’s a very common name and the ME did not include a middle name or initial. (For armchair sleuths, please also note that as distinctive as his name is, there is at least one other man in Western WA with the same name, but several years older.) We will continue checking in with police on the case periodcally – TR

        • Alex S. July 2, 2020 (12:38 pm)

          With the exception of domestic violence, I don’t think I’ve ever come across a homicide case that did not involve drugs.  I wish the people who promote, glorify & excuse drug use – and the others who want to decriminalize / legalize drugs – would at least acknowledge the inherently violent nature of drug culture. 

    • Alex S. July 1, 2020 (4:08 pm)

      Graciano: as a non-journalist I can report social media proof is pretty solid, since the two victims are listed as being in a relationship together.  Male is apparently from Kent.  Female’s profile says she lived in Federal Way.  Condolences to their families and friends.  That is a sad way to have your life end. 

  • m July 1, 2020 (4:26 pm)

    If that is the victim from the social media post, it appears he is originally from Kent but most recently living in White Center. Also that he has a young son. Very sad. 

  • Moneek July 1, 2020 (5:13 pm)

    When I saw the headline “Duwamish Head” I was thinking of something much more dire than it being the head of a river  

  • Guy July 1, 2020 (6:33 pm)

    You can view their profiles on Facebook, they were mutual friends, RIP. 

  • SMH July 1, 2020 (6:40 pm)

    Heart reaching. My deepest condolences to family and friends. 

  • ttt July 1, 2020 (7:15 pm)

    Horrible. I wonder if the suitcases floated down the Duwamish?

  • Zander July 2, 2020 (8:00 am)

    Sad… Apparently, they had 3 young children between the two of them. (According to social media)

    • LCM July 4, 2020 (4:25 pm)

      Why in the world weren’t there any Missing Persons reports on either of them? How cold it be there were no active investigations on 2 local people gone for days?  Something isn’t right here.

  • Vince July 2, 2020 (2:40 pm)

    As I read the comments about Austin and Jessica, please bear in mind that they were people with families that are now grieving their loss.Also, please note, not everything about them on fb and the internet is entirely accurate. 

  • Diana July 2, 2020 (5:40 pm)

    How do the authorities know the specific date of the murders? Was there other evidence such as witnesses or surveillance video?

    • McGruff July 2, 2020 (6:59 pm)

      In some areas, forensic science is actually pretty good. They can analyze the degree of decomposition of the body and determine how long the person’s been dead with a fair degree of accuracy, factoring in elements like ambient temperature (they were in cold water), etc.I believe the FBI has a facility, nicknamed the ‘body farm’, where they leave corpses out to analyze decomposition and increase their knowledge base in this sort of thing.Then again, the killer might’ve accidentally left the page from their desk calendar where they wrote ‘Whack those two TODAY!’ in one of the cases; IDK.

  • Gina J July 2, 2020 (9:39 pm)

    Please respect my family’s privacy at this horrible time right now. They were good hearted people. Please allow investigators to bring thier killers to justice without a sea of misinformation or rumors. Thank you for your prayers and support. 

  • Elizabeth D July 3, 2020 (2:15 am)

    Gina, I’m really sorry for your loss. Your family, and Austin and Jessica, are in my prayers.

  • BDR July 3, 2020 (10:26 am)

    My sympathy to Jessica and Austin’s friends and family. No one deserves to be killed and thrown in the water.  I hope the police are able to figure out quickly who killed them and did whatever they did to make the bodies small enough to fit in a suitcase and trash bag that were thrown in the Duwamish river or Puget Sound. Imho, that is an extra layer of horrible. No graphic details needed to realize someone capable of that probably wouldn’t think twice about killing other people.  

  • Nancy July 4, 2020 (4:29 pm)

    Gina, am so sorry for your family’s loss.

  • Gina Jaschke July 5, 2020 (4:31 am)

    Thank you for your well wishes, and my family thanks you too. I know these animals will be caught. It didn’t take long to figure them out. They will make a stupid move-they always do.  And nobody’s going to care what they say- what they did is cowardly and barbaric. Oh you sent a message all right. Please. Nobody is scared of them,  everybody just see’s the lowlife meaningless waste of oxygen these bottom feeders are in this world. The hardest of the hard don’t want nothing to do with people so ignorant. The only one with any brains will turn themselves in 1st- to save their skin if they had any smarts at all. But doubt it.

  • Cms July 5, 2020 (11:15 am)

    They may have been homeless and living a bit of a ruff life, but no matter what wrong doing either one may have done they didn’t deserve to die like this. I knew them both for a couple of years and to be honest it wasnt a great first impression, but with most people living on the streets they want to have that tuff guy reputatulion. But as I got to know them the more I learned about them and they really werent as bad as some people think. They told me how they met and how she lost her home, and that they both had children, and they both wanted nothing more than to get their life straightened out and be the parents those kids deserved. They really believed that they were going to change their lives around and have there kids back in there lives and even talked about his son and her kids living with them one day and they would be a family. They were generally good people with good intentions. They were someone’s son/daughter, someone’s brother/ sister, They were a mother a father and a friend, and I’m sadend that it ended like this for them before they were able to change their life around and be the parents they wanted to be. Now their kids will grow up without them and with only the memories they have. I hope they find their killer or killers and put them away. My condolences to their family’s. My prayers are with you.  Rest in piece Austin and Jessica 

    • Cms July 5, 2020 (11:23 am)

      I don’t know you Gina but my sympathy goes out to you and your family. You are so right about whoever did this to them. They are cowards and don’t deserve to breath. They think they are tough guys but we will see how tuff they really are When they are behind bars. They will get what they have coming. Whoever you are should just turn yourself in. Your life is over just like you took theirs you piece of %÷*×. I hope you rot in he’ll. Was it really worth it? Now you will pay for it forvthevrest of your worthless life. 

  • April July 5, 2020 (1:00 pm)

      I am thinking law enforcement detectives peeps might want to look at the Can you Id Me? Website and look at Every Person Photographed stealing someone’s Baggage thief…maybe just maybe That Particular Suitcase  The bodies were in came from bag thief at airport with a picture of suspect..     Or not. I don’t know.. Just a thought. 

  • Gina Jaschke July 6, 2020 (11:00 am)

Sorry, comment time is over.