Man’s fatal car crash follows wife’s death

MILL CREEK — While police were discovering the body of a pregnant woman in her Mill Creek apartment early Monday morning, sheriff’s deputies were called to a fatal crash that took her husband’s life.

Investigators spent hours combing through the apartment where the woman, 27, was found dead shortly after midnight following reports of a domestic dispute.

Her husband, 30, died when his speeding car struck a parked semi tractor trailer in the 18500 block of 35th Avenue SE, officials said.

Mill Creek police are investigating the apparent homicide in the apartment. Because the crash occurred outside of city limits, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office is handling the fatal crash.

“It seems the two will be linked,” Mill Creek police officer Ian Durkee said. “We will be working together to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.”

Police said it will be up to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office to identify the couple and to provide information about how they died. Police said the man had armed himself with a loaded shotgun hours before the killing, but offered no information about whether his wife was shot.

“The wife was found with a severe head wound,” Durkee said.

Her body was found in her apartment in the 14700 block of Main Street when police went to check on a reported domestic dispute, Durkee said.

Someone from the apartment complex called 911 around 12:20 a.m. to report hearing yelling and what sounded like items inside the apartment being thrown around, Durkee said.

Police were gathering evidence late into the afternoon with the help of the Washington State Crime Lab.

If suspicions prove true, the woman’s death would be the first homicide in more than a quarter century since Mill Creek was incorporated into a city, Durkee said. That’s not counting the January 2008 incident when a Mill Creek police sergeant fatally shot a Kent man because he believed the suspect was going to ram him with a pickup truck.

In Monday’s investigation, witnesses told police the couple spent part of Sunday with friends. They watched a football game, went to dinner and consumed alcohol, Durkee said.

That evening, the woman asked some of her friends to come back to the apartment because her husband was acting strangely and had armed himself with a loaded shotgun, Durkee said.

Her friends helped calm the situation.

Eventually, all but one of their friends left the apartment. Police believe the husband assaulted his wife when the remaining friend went to the store to buy cigarettes.

A shotgun was recovered inside the apartment, but it was not known if it was used in the assault, officials said.

Monday’s crash happened about the same time Mill Creek police were arriving at the scene of the woman’s apparent homicide. The compact sedan was travelling southbound on 35th when it crossed the centerline and struck a parked semi tractor trailer, sheriff’s Lt. Rodney Rochon said.

The preliminary cause of the crash is speed on a wet roadway, he said. The collision is under investigation by the sheriff’s office Collision Investigation Unit.

Police were not involved in a pursuit when the crash occurred, officials said.

“He blew past a deputy who tried to follow him and lost him,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Shari Ireton said.

About a minute later, the deputy received word about the crash, she said.

Collision experts were on the scene until after 5 a.m.

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

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