Police investigate estranged husband in woman’s death

BOTHELL — The day a Bothell woman was found slain, police reportedly found unused latex gloves, masking tape and disposable fabric coveralls in her estranged husband’s car.

The man reportedly told police he was planning a painting project.

He said he bought some of the items earlier that day, Feb. 12.

Detectives say the material from those coveralls matches patterns left in blood at the crime scene, according to investigative documents obtained by The Herald.

Susann Smith, 37, was beaten to death. Police found her body inside her home after she didn’t show up for work.

In the weeks since, Bothell police have centered their investigation around Smith’s estranged husband. The couple were going through an ugly divorce and were in a custody battle over their two young children, court papers show.

They lived separately. Police have searched both homes for potential evidence.

The Herald is not naming the man because he has not been charged with a crime.

No arrests have been made, Bothell police Sgt. Ken Seuberlich said Friday. Additional forensic tests are planned.

“They’re just continuing the investigation and following up on leads,” he said.

Detectives have collected genetic samples from Smith’s husband to compare to the evidence recovered at the scene, records show. They took photos of his hands and other parts of his body to document any injuries. They used special lighting that can reveal bruising not otherwise visible.

Police have since determined that an axe found at Susann Smith’s home likely isn’t connected to the killing, Seuberlich said. Crime-scene specialists with the Washington State Patrol determined that material found on the axe blade was not blood, court papers show.

Police also have seized the man’s computer browsing history, documents show. He reportedly had been looking for plane tickets out of the country for himself and his children.

The children were taken into state protective custody the day Susann Smith’s body was found.

After that, police say the man began searching for solo tickets, according to his browsing history. He also reportedly was researching extradition laws for South American countries.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com

More in Local News

A Democrat and ex-Republican team up to end two-party politics

Brian Baird and Chris Vance unveil a new organization called Washington Independents.

The beavers weren’t happy, either, about Mill Creek flooding

A tree fell on their dam, sending a rush of water into a neighborhood near Jackson High School.

Stranger offered candy to student walking home from school

The Granite Falls School District is warning families about… Continue reading

Man arrested after stolen car crashes in Everett

The accident occurred in the 100 block of SE Everett Mall Way.

5-vehicle crash in Arlington kills 62-year-old woman

Medics had transported her to the hospital, where she later died.

2 men hospitalized after rollover collision on U.S. 2

Two men were taken to the hospital with minor injuries… Continue reading

Marysville police serve a warrant — across the street from HQ

A man who fled was taken into custody. Police were serving a warrant for alleged drug-related crimes.

If vehicles crash and tumble, rescuers want to be ready

The Puyallup Extrication Team practiced with other fire departments on cars, SUVs and even buses.

Marysville man charged with stabbing wife who sought divorce

Nathan Bradford, 45, found divorce papers while going through the woman’s car.

Most Read