Witness, shell casing tie murder to Central Whidbey

A 67-year-old Freeland man whose body was found in Blaine may have been shot near the Coupeville Ferry.

By Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times

A law enforcement report on the murder of a 67-year-old Whidbey Island man whose body was found in Blaine suggests that he may have been shot near the Coupeville Ferry.

Lynda C. Mercy, a 62-year-old Bellingham resident, made her first appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court Wednesday after being arrested on suspicion of murder in the second degree. The judge set her bail at $1 million.

Thomas Flood’s body was found covered in blankets on a trail inside a Whatcom County park on Semiahmoo Parkway in the afternoon of April 7. Flood was shot twice in the torso.

Detectives located friends of Flood who said he had been living in his van near the Coupeville Ferry Dock in Central Whidbey, although records identify him as a Freeland resident. A witness saw Flood arguing with a woman there at about 1 a.m. on the day before his body was discovered, according to the affidavit of probable cause filed Wednesday.

The witness positively identified Mercy as the woman, the report states.

Detectives searched the area next to the ferry where Flood had parked his van to sleep and found a Sellier & Bellot .40-caliber casing. Mercy had purchased a .40-caliber pistol in December 2020 and had posted a photograph of a box of Sellier & Bellot .40-caliber ammo on her Instagram account, the affidavit says.

After Flood’s body was found, detectives located his Ford Econoline van by “pinging” his cell phone, which was inside the vehicle. The report describes blood pooled on the floorboards and in other areas inside the van.

Detectives were able to trace the van’s movements through the cell phone data and located surveillance video from different businesses. They posted still images of a suspect on social media and asked the public for help in identifying the person.

The department received tips from three people who identified the suspect as Mercy.

After she was arrested Tuesday, Mercy admitted to visiting Port Townsend — the destination of the Coupeville ferry — during the first week of April.

The report doesn’t indicate what Mercy’s motive may have been beyond the argument she allegedly had with Flood. A detective with the Bellingham Police Department and her neighbors suggested that Mercy’s mental health had changed and she had become more aggressive since the pandemic began, the affidavit states.

Mercy’s social media sites suggest she has a fascination with violence, the report says.

“For example, on more than one occasion, she was observed with an angry face stabbing and slashing the air with knives and meat cleavers,” the affidavit states. “In a still photo she was seen wearing what looked like a bloody shirt with a box of S&B ammunition on her lap.”

Detectives recovered Mercy’s gun from a friend whom Mercy had asked to hold it for her after the murder, the report indicates.

This story originally appeared in the Whidbey News-Times, a sister publication to The Herald.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Josh Otusanya, 27, former Lake Stevens high soccer star turned comedian, has 4.6 million followers on TikTok for his inspirational videos from his family's home. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
A funny local TikToker with 5M followers offers life hacks

Josh Otusanya, a Lake Stevens soccer star turned New York comedian, reinvented himself in his family’s basement.

Crews contracted by the Washington State Department of Transportation for pavement work on the U.S. 2 bridge over the Pilchuck River are set to close one lane this weekend to replace and install expansion joints. (WSDOT)
Backups likely during U.S. 2 bridge work near Snohomish

The Pilchuck River bridge east of Highway 9 will close to one lane with alternating traffic.

Deborah Rumbaugh (left), Jay Jordan (center) and John Boyd are finalists for the Stanwood School District's superintendent position.
Finalists for Stanwood schools chief are coming to town

Each will visit the district this week to meet staff and take part in a virtual community forum.

Herald Street Smarts columnist Ben Watanabe and Edmonds City Councilman Luke Distelhorst tour planned new bike lanes on Bowdoin Way on Tuesday morning in Edmonds. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Edmonds will add more bike lanes, reduce some street parking

The city will use a $1.85 million grant from Sound Transit to improve bicycle and pedestrian connections.

Aquasox's Julio Rodriguez hits a two run homer as the Everett Aquasox beat the Tri-City Dust Devils in a home opening game at Funko Field on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
GALLERY: Aquasox beat Tri-City in home opener

Aquasox’s Julio Rodriguez hits a two run homer as the Everett Aquasox… Continue reading

Jeffrey Phebus is sentenced to over 31 years in prison for the murder of his wife Rebecca Phebus, on Monday, May 10, 2021, at the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
‘No words’: Arlington man sentenced for killing wife at work

Jeffery Phebus, 61, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. He was sentenced to 31⅔ years in prison Monday.

The Coupeville-Port Townsend ferry route will only have one vessel until late June, Washington State Ferries announced after an engine fire on one vessel and ongoing crew shortages. (Emily Gilbert / Whidbey News-Times)
Coupeville ferry route down to one boat through June 27

Another delay in two-boat service means Coupeville ferry riders should expect long waits until June.

The design concept for the public plaza outside the Marysville's new civic center set to debut in spring 2022. (City of Marysville)
Former community hub in Marysville set for demolition

Built in 1949, the Ken Baxter Community Center will be removed to make way for the new civic center.

Volunteers from the Rotary Club of Arlington and local Cub Scouts planted trees at Stormwater Wetland Park on May 1. (City of Arlington)
Scouts, Rotarians collaborate to restore an Arlinton park

Rotary and Cub Scouts plant trees in Arlington Stormwater Wetland Park has… Continue reading

Most Read