By Rikki King Herald Writer
BOTHELL — The estranged husband of a slain Bothell woman was arrested Thursday after refusing to turn over his passport to detectives investigating her death.
Bothell police went to the man’s home about 9 a.m. Thursday to serve a warrant allowing them to confiscate his passport, Sgt. Cedric Collins said. The man refused and was arrested on suspicion of obstructing a police officer, a misdemeanor.
For months, investigators have focused on the man’s actions around the time that Susann Smith, 37, was found stabbed and bludgeoned to death in her home. They were getting divorced.
On Thursday, detectives started to publicly call the man a suspect in the killing, Collins said.
After he refused to hand over his passport, detectives allowed him to leave the house while they stayed there serving a search warrant.
A short time later, they were convinced they had grounds for his arrest, Collins said. The man was found a mile or two away.
As of late Thursday afternoon, the man remained in custody at the Bothell Police Department, Collins said. He was expected to be booked into jail for obstruction.
Officers have been called to the man’s home about five times in recent weeks for various reported disturbances involving him and his new girlfriend, Collins said. The man had been living in a nearby apartment when his wife died. He moved back into the home weeks later — a decision that upset the neighbors.
Court records show Smith and her husband were fighting over custody of their two children. The children were taken into state custody after the slaying.
The man’s computer history showed that around the time of his wife’s death he had been searching for flights out of the country, court records said.
Smith’s body was found Feb. 12 after she didn’t show up for work at a Seattle software company.
Detectives in court papers have alleged that after the killing, they found blood on the man’s backpack and parts of his car. They spent months collecting and analyzing financial and telephone records, as well as personal electronics, that belonged to him and the victim.
In May, police recovered an abandoned bicycle they believed may have been used as the getaway vehicle in the killing. They believe the man had purchased the bicycle before the killing and may have deliberately tried to get it stolen. The results of scientific tests conducted on the bicycle have not been made public.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449; firstname.lastname@example.org