EVERETT — Dawn Vanderlugt can’t understand why anyone would hurt her brother.
Vanderlugt and her mother sat in the courtroom on Thursday, getting their first look at the man Everett police arrested in connection with the death of her brother, Dean Almquist.
Vanderlugt believed Almquist was visiting a friend. She received a call from investigators Wednesday night informing her that her brother, 46, was dead.
“He was a great guy. He was nice and he wouldn’t have hurt anybody,” Vanderlugt said. “I don’t know what happened.”
Roland Nunley, 34, was arrested for investigation of second-degree murder. A judge on Thursday ordered him held on $300,000 bail.
Everett police received a tip on Wednesday afternoon that a tenant at a boarding house was attempting to mask the smell of a decaying body with bleach, according to a police affidavit filed in Everett District Court.
Officers found Almquist’s body inside a closet at a boarding house in the 3100 block of Lombard Avenue.
Investigators arrested the tenant, Nunley, a short time later.
The motive behind the slaying isn’t known.
Nunley had lived in room 3-B for just a week, building owner Jon Iseman said. The victim is believed to have known Nunley from the streets, Iseman said.
The house provides affordable housing for people recovering from drug and alcohol addictions as well as mentally ill people who aren’t able to work, Iseman said.
Iseman of Mukilteo owns about seven clean-and-sober houses in Everett and Monroe. He said he has worked with police and local mental health caseworkers to provide safe housing for his tenants.
Iseman met with Nunley and his mother. There was never any indication the man could become violent, Iseman said. Nunley suffers from some mental health problems and may have been mixing alcohol and medication for depression, Iseman said.
“This is devastating. I obviously feel sorry for the victim’s family and I feel sorry for the suspect and his mom,” he said. “We’re trying to help people. They don’t deserve to live under a bridge.”
The cause of Almquist’s death hasn’t been released.
Reporter Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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