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

Feds: Smuggled Marysville guns were part of Nazi terror plot

A federal judge sentenced Hany Veletanlic to 7 years in prison Monday for mailing guns to Sweden.

Everett might declare a climate emergency, adopt action plan

City council members are scheduled Wednesday to consider a resolution “to get the public’s attention.”

Child not hurt after short ride with carjacker near Sultan

Suspect reportedly told the 9-year-old girl to “get out” of moving vehicle. A bus driver found her.

Person injured in apartment fire in Everett

The fire was contained to one unit, but a female was injured and taken to a hospital.

Property taxes rise for most of Snohomish County in 2020

The average homeowner will pay an extra $456.08 in property taxes, with highest jump in Marysville.

Deputy who fatally shot Edmonds man sued for dog bite

An investigation concluded Art Wallin broke policy when he unleashed a dog on a man in 2017.

Deputy marshals shoot Snohomish County fugitive in Las Vegas

The man was wanted on firearms and drug charges. His name and condition haven’t been released.

Charges: Stanwood teacher held ex-wife hostage at gunpoint

Paul Erickson was hired months ago as a middle school science teacher. He’s jailed on felony charges.

Inclusive playground planned for $13 million Edmonds park

A mother’s wish to honor her son inspires wheelchair-accessible equipment at future Civic Park.

Most Read