Suspect in girlfriend’s killing claimed it was a drive-by shooting

EVERETT — Nearly a month after telling police his girlfriend had been shot by a stranger, an Arlington man has been arrested in her death.

Daniel L. Rinker, 25, was being held Tuesday for investigation of second-degree murder and illegally possessing a firearm. Bail was set at $1 million.

The felon is accused of shooting Jessica Jones, 25, in the head April 8 in Arlington. She was found in the garage of a home in the 6800 block of 188th Street NE, where the couple was living with Rinker’s grandparents, according to court papers.

Detectives believe she was shot out of anger during a domestic dispute.

Rinker told police that Jones may have been shot by someone in a dark blue Dodge Neon while she was inside the garage. Police learned early the next morning that Jones had died at the Seattle hospital where she’d been flown by helicopter.

Rinker’s account soon came into question. Detectives found no evidence of a drive-by shooting.

Two people who were nearby told police they didn’t see a car driving by before or after the gunshot. They also said they saw Rinker throw items into some bushes a short time later.

The next day an Arlington police officer found a handgun with a silver frame and black handle in the bushes, according to court records.

Detectives obtained a search warrant and gained access to a photo that earlier had been removed from Rinker’s Facebook page. The selfie showed the suspect with a silver gun with a black handle.

The Snohomish County Violent Offender Task Force made the arrest in Marysville on Monday, at the request of Arlington police.

Tapping into the task force’s expertise “was to make sure our officers and the public stayed safe,” police spokeswoman Kristin Banfield said.

Rinker knew he was a suspect, Banfield said. He has prior convictions for assault, robbery, burglary and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Rinker allegedly told police that he was afraid Jones would leave him while he served an upcoming jail sentence. Witnesses also told police that Rinker previously had abused and threatened to kill Jones, court records said.

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

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