EVERETT — Nine days after Heidi Allen was struck by a car, dragged and killed on Grand Avenue, police found a maroon Ford Focus with damage to its front end, parked a block south on 14th Street.
On the undercarriage was a piece of fabric like the leather jacket Allen wore when she died.
The car’s owner, Jesse Thayer, 35, reportedly told police he knew about the hit-and-run.
Later in a recorded statement, he told police he’d run over something — possibly garbage — and heard a thump as he came home from a golf course in north Everett the night of May 25.
Police booked Thayer into jail early Tuesday for investigation of hit-and-run in a fatal collision. Everett District Court Judge Pro Tem Jessica Ness found probable cause to hold him in jail. She set bail at $100,000.
Allen, 37, a Mukilteo resident, was seen picking up things in the roadway about 20 minutes before the crash, a witness told Everett police.
The same witness returned to the street later, found Allen injured in the street and called for police at 9:30 p.m.
A trail of evidence stretched for a full block of 13th Street, from Grand to Rucker Avenue.
The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Allen died of blunt-force trauma.
An officer in the neighborhood discovered the Ford on Monday. It had minor damage to the front bumper and grill “consistent with a slow speed collision.” The oily, dirty undercarriage had been wiped clean in areas, as if it had bumped over something. Under the car, near the center, was the torn piece of fabric.
As police looked at the car, Thayer came outside and walked up to the officers. He reportedly said it was his car and that he had the only key. He told police he had been driving at 9 p.m. that Saturday night, coming from Legion Memorial golf course. He parked and, for some reason, decided to park again, he reported. So he circled the block. At 13th and Grand, he hit an object but continued west. In a later statement, Thayer recalled saying, “Oh, (expletive),” when he heard a thud. He reported he looked back and assumed it was trash.
Thayer recalled telling his mother he hit garbage, and he wanted to tell police, according to his report. She replied that he shouldn’t bother them.
Police spoke with the mother.
In her account, her son kept repeating that he did not see anything and he wanted to tell the police. She didn’t understand what he meant. He repeated himself until she became upset and yelled at him. She didn’t hear that someone had died until the next day.
Allen was a mother of two children, ages 8 and 20. According to an obituary, she loved to cook without recipes. She loved to read books aloud. She loved being outside and picking flowers.
“Heidi was a loving mother who taught her children how to draw,” her obituary says. “Heidi made friends easily. She lit up a room and cheered up those around her, especially when her children needed comfort.”
Reporter Zachariah Bryan contributed to this story.
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snocaleb.