Profilers’ help sought in Pinnacle Lake killings

Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives have sought help from a group of professional criminal profilers in hopes of finding whoever shot and killed two women on a popular hiking trail in July, Sheriff Rick Bart said Thursday morning.

Investigators don’t have any new leads in the shooting deaths of Mary Cooper, 56, and Susanna Stodden, 27, Bart said.

The slain mother and daughter were found July 11 near the Pinnacle Lake Trail.

A sheriff’s detective recently presented the case to a group of experts at profiling criminals who had gathered for a seminar.

The group, which Bart declined to identify, is interested in reviewing the case, Bart said.

“We’re not arrogant back here. If we think someone has better expertise at something, we’ll ask for help. We want to solve this case,” Bart said.

A criminal profiler generally creates a suspect profile based on evidence collected by police and interviews with detectives.

The profile can be a tool for investigators. It isn’t always accurate and doesn’t replace the need for solid evidence.

“We need to bring evidence to court,” he said.

The sheriff’s office has used profilers in the past, Bart said. The FBI used to be the primary agency that had professional profilers. Now there are other options, he said. The sheriff would not say who may review the case.

The sheriff’s office also has contacted police departments around the country, along with one agency outside the U.S., to determine if there have been similar killings, Bart said. He wouldn’t say if any leads were developed out of those conversations.

In addition to working with other agencies, sheriff’s detectives have been tracking down hundreds of tips. At least 300 tips came pouring into the sheriff’s office after the women were found on the trail. Some of the tips have been useful.

“We need more tips,” Bart said. “It’s been awhile. We want people to think hard about if they saw or heard anything. We want the call. If they knew the victims and we haven’t talked to them, we want to talk to them.”

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