Police: Victim slain by man who responded to his Craigslist ad

EVERETT — A Lynnwood man who was found slain last month met his accused murderer through Craigslist, court papers show.

Christopher Davis, 32, had posted ads on the classifieds website seeking a romantic housekeeping arrangement. Prosecutors allege that a man who answered the ads, Christopher Garcia Gonzalez, 23, killed Davis and stole his car.

Garcia-Gonzalez was charged Friday with second-degree murder and car theft. He was arrested last week and remains jailed in California. He is expected to be returned to Washington to face the murder charge. His bail was earlier set at $1 million.

Police believe the killing happened Sept. 14. Davis’ body was found Sept. 20, after a friend reported him missing. Davis, an accomplished musician, had not shown up for the piano lessons he usually taught. Officers found Davis’ body in his home, covered with a blanket. The medical examiner never made public Davis’ cause of death, but the charges say detectives believe he was strangled. Davis’ Honda Civic was missing and police listed it as stolen in a national database.

Davis’ friends told investigators that he had met a man who had moved into the townhouse. The man was supposed to move out in mid-September after the two had an argument.

Police obtained a judge’s permission to search Davis’ phone and Internet records for clues to the housekeeper’s identity. Davis had been in frequent contact with Garcia-Gonzalez in the days leading up to his death, they allege.

On Oct. 10, local deputies in Santa Clara County, California, found Davis’ Honda with Garcia-Gonzalez inside. When charges were filed here, police were hopeful a search of the car would turn up Davis’ missing phone.

Garcia-Gonzalez had been living with his mother in Marysville before being kicked out earlier this year, according to the charges. Garcia-Gonzalez reportedly told detectives he’d bought the car from a gang member in Everett. He claimed to have moved to California with the car in August, even though Davis had been seen driving the Honda after that time.

Garcia-Gonzalez has felony convictions for car theft and grand theft.

Davis, who had a master’s degree in piano performance from the University of Washington, worked for a church in Kirkland. A celebration of his life is planned there this weekend.

Reporter Diana Hefley contributed to this story.

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

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