Husband, father makes final try for answers to slayings

GRANITE FALLS — The reward was established within weeks of the fatal shootings.

That was more than six years ago.

David Stodden hoped for some sense of closure by now.

It hasn’t happened.

The Seattle man hasn’t given up hope that someone will come forward with evidence that will help detectives find whoever killed his wife and daughter.

Mary Cooper, 56, and Susanna Stodden, 27, were fatally shot and left deep in the woods along a hiking trail near Pinnacle Lake on Mount Pilchuck on July 11, 2006.

In the weeks after their deaths, a reward was established to try to shake loose information about who was responsible. Many people contributed to the $20,000 raised. An attorney helped set up the account. One requirement was establishing a deadline for when the reward fund will expire.

That date — September 2013 — is looming. Without a break in the case, the money is scheduled to be turned over to two charities — the Washington Trails Association and the Seattle Public Library. Both were dear to Stodden’s loved ones. Mary Cooper was an elementary school librarian and she and her daughter loved to hike.

Over the years, Stodden and his friends have posted hundreds of fliers seeking information that could lead to an arrest. On Wednesday morning, he was in Everett taking out a newspaper advertisement in The Daily Herald about the reward.

“I have to believe that someone probably knows something,” he said.

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office is thinking the same thing, the department’s spokeswoman Shari Ireton said.

“We are continuing to investigate the case and we would certainly welcome any tips the public might have that would aid detectives,” she said.

The file remains with one of the original detectives assigned to the case and is actively being pursued, Ireton said.

Detectives included the killings in the state’s first deck of cold-case playing cards. Cooper and Stodden are featured together on the ace of hearts.

More than 5,000 decks have been handed out in the state’s jails and prisons in hopes of soliciting new leads in unsolved homicides and missing persons cases dating back to the 1970s. Inmates are offered a reward for information that leads police to arrests.

The cards have been successful in drawing out clues in old, unsolved killings, even though the June 2006 double homicide at Pinnacle Lake isn’t considered a cold case, officials said.

Detectives ask anyone who may have information about the killings to call the sheriff’s tip line at 425-388-3845.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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