Cold Case: Unsolved shootings ended mother-daughter trail hike

PINNACLE LAKE — A mother and daughter set out along a mountain trail to make new memories together.

Mary Cooper, 54, was looking forward to the hike with her daughter Susanna Stodden, 27. Life was busy and she didn’t always get a chance to join her daughter on her regular treks. The pair could connect away from the city, under the canopy of trees, amid the music of the mountains.

Mother and daughter died together on Pinnacle Lake trail. A hiker found the pair off the rugged path. Both had been shot in the head.

No one has been arrested for the July 11, 2006, slayings.

Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives included the killings in the state’s first deck of cold-case playing cards. More than 3,000 decks have been handed out in the state’s jails and prisons in hopes of soliciting new leads in unsolved homicides and missing persons cases dating back to the 1970s. Inmates are offered a $1,000 reward for information that leads police to arrests.

Cooper and Stodden are featured together on the ace of hearts.

The double homicide isn’t considered a “cold” case, sheriff’s detective Jim Scharf said. The investigation remains with the original detective assigned the case, not with the cold-case squad.

“Whoever committed the murders might be in jail, might be talking about it,” Scharf said. “It’s more likely we’ll get a tip about a recent murder than an old one.”

David Stodden has been waiting for answers since the moment detectives told him his wife and daughter were dead. The community needs answers, the Seattle man said. He’s encouraged that detectives are looking at other ways to catch the killers.

“Mary and Susanna were really good people. Their case — anyone’s case — certainly deserves to be solved,” David Stodden said. “I think about them every minute. Certainly there would be some closure if we could figure out why this happened.”

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463, hefley@heraldnet.com.

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