By Eric Stevick Herald Writers
EVERETT — A Marysville woman allegedly bragged about killing a sex offender within hours of the January stabbing death of an elderly man who lived in the same trailer park.
Arthur Schroeder’s throat was slashed and he suffered multiple stab wounds. The 82-year-old’s body was found on the floor of his travel trailer Jan. 25.
Marysville police Sunday arrested Delaney R. Wood, 28, for investigation of first-degree murder, robbery and motor vehicle theft. She already was in the Snohomish County Jail on an unrelated warrant.
A judge Monday set bail at $1 million in Everett District Court.
“This investigation is not yet complete,” Marysville police Cmdr. Robb Lamoureux said Monday. “We anticipate additional arrests will be made in the coming days for others who were either directly involved in the murder or participated after the fact.”
Schroeder was found inside his ransacked white travel trailer home at the Brookside Mobile RV Park in the 9800 block of State Avenue. He was found clutching a plastic bag in his left hand. Furniture was overturned and cabinets left open. Dried blood led investigators to believe he had been dead for several hours.
His 2006 Chevrolet Colorado pickup was not in the driveway. It was found burning on vacant land north of Arlington, hours after the body was discovered.
“At this point, we believe it is simply robbery,” Lamoureux said, referring to a possible motive. “There were things stolen out of his house.”
A key break in the case came Jan. 30 when a witness told police that Wood had been bragging about killing a sex offender. That same day, a woman arrested on an unrelated case told authorities that Wood allegedly confessed to killing Schroeder. She told police that Wood showed her cuts, dried blood and what appeared to be bite marks on her arms, court papers said.
Wood lived in the same mobile home park as Schroeder. She told police Jan. 30 that she knew him and had been in his trailer before. She alleged that Schroeder had made sexual advances toward her, but she had made it clear that nothing sexual happened between the two.
“Wood appeared to be upset about finding out that Schroeder was a registered sex offender,” Marysville police wrote in court papers.
Detectives asked her, if she was being given a polygraph, how she would answer the question, “Did you kill Art?”
Wood hesitated and said, “I don’t know,” court papers said.
Two people told police that Wood paid them a visit the day Schroeder was killed. Wood reportedly showed up at one of their homes driving a truck that matched the description of Schroeder’s, court papers said.
Wood told one of the two that “they” — court papers don’t elaborate — had “just killed an old man and took his truck.” Later that night, she said “they took a safe deposit key from the dead man and the safe deposit box has $20,000,” court papers said.
The man who told police about the visit later turned the key over to detectives.
Wood later allegedly demonstrated to another man how she stabbed Schroeder to death. It was at his home that she allegedly changed out of the clothes she wore during the killing. Within the bag of clothes were a pair of black “skater” shoes.
The pattern on the soles of those shoes match bloody footprints inside Schroeder’s trailer, according to police.
A witness the night of the killing reported observing a text message on a phone from Wood telling them not to come over because “I’m killing the old man,” court records said.
Wood told other witnesses that Schroeder had drugged her and then, she claimed, raped her with a broomstick.
Community Transit video footage shows Wood and another person being picked up and dropped off at the entrance to the mobile home park on the day Schroeder was killed.
She is seen wearing the black skater shoes resembling the pair that were later seized by detectives, as well as a black and silver scarf that resembled one found outside Schroeder’s trailer after his body was discovered.
Wood earlier told police she owned the scarf, and claimed she left it at Schroeder’s trailer a week before the killing.
Schroeder was a registered sex offender who spent 18 years in prison, according to state Department of Corrections records. The crimes, involving 20 victims, took place between 1980 and 1983 and included girls ages 8 to 14.
His last conviction came in February 2011 when he pleaded guilty to failing to register as a sex offender.
Police first reported that Schroeder was found by his grandson who went to check on him after visiting a friend who lives in the mobile RV park.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, firstname.lastname@example.org.