LYNNWOOD — On Friday nights, Danny Hinojosa would drink with friends at the bar.
So it was strange when he didn’t show up April 19, according to a Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office search warrant.
A friend went to check on Hinojosa at his U-shaped apartment complex April 20, in the 15300 block of Highway 99. The friend, 47, could hear his phone ringing inside, but couldn’t open the door.
After the weekend, another friend went by the apartment with a key April 22. He opened the door around 12:30 p.m. to find a gruesome crime scene.
Hinojosa was dead. One of his hands had nearly been amputated, and he’d suffered severe injuries to his skull, according to the sheriff’s documents.
A month later, no suspects have been publicly identified. Until now, few details had been released about the homicide.
Deputies took photos outside the front door: folding camp chairs, old cigarette butts and a doormat reading, “Home / Sweet / Home.”
A sheriff’s detective noted a doorjamb had been damaged near the deadbolt, suggesting a break-in. Just on the other side of the entrance were drops of blood. The body was a few feet farther inside.
Based on Hinojosa’s injuries, deputies believe he was upright when he was assaulted.
In the search warrant, Major Crimes detectives were seeking to seize trace evidence, like fingerprints, blood and hair.
No motive is identified in the paperwork.
One friend reported he last saw Hinojosa alive around 5 p.m. April 18.
That was two days after Hinojosa’s 52nd birthday.
The Olympus Apartments are about a half-mile north of Lynnwood city limits. A worker at the complex reported seeing a woman leave the apartment on April 19. The same worker recounted seeing a different woman go into the apartment on the morning of April 22, a couple of hours before the 911 call. He didn’t see her leave.
Decades ago, Hinojosa had been involved in gangs in Michigan, and the warrant lists many past run-ins with police. He’d been convicted of first-degree manslaughter, for his role in a gang-related fight that ended in a deadly shooting in 1991 in Detroit.
Over the past decade he’d been found guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm and domestic violence crimes. His lease paperwork suggested he’d lived in the apartment for about a year.
A friend — the one who knew Hinojosa well enough that he’d been given a spare key — reported the deceased man had not had a girlfriend since July 2018, according to the court papers.
Hinojosa had a drug addiction, the man told detectives. He’d been trying to quit.
Tips can be the directed to the sheriff’s office at 425-388-3845.
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snocaleb.