Young mother was fatally shot in her home

MONROE — Tira Snyder would’ve done anything for her daughter.

The little girl was her joy. Snyder, 19, wanted to take care of Molly the best she could. She wanted so much to be a good mom.

“Molly was everything to her,” Dave Snyder said of his former wife.

On July 1, 1985, Dave Snyder returned home and found the couple’s 6-month-old daughter alone inside the family car, along with a load of groceries.

His wife was inside their Lake Roesiger home, shot to death. Investigators suspect the new mom was killed during an interrupted burglary. She likely was carrying groceries into the house.

Molly was in the car for hours before she was rescued. Miraculously, she was unharmed. The vehicle was parked in the shade and the windows were rolled down.

“Thank God,” said Dave Snyder, who speculates that the killer must have driven right by his daughter sitting in the car.

No one has ever been arrested for Tira Snyder’s slaying.

She is featured on the Jack of Hearts in the state’s first deck of cold-case playing cards. More than 3,000 decks of cards have been provided to jails and prisons. Detectives hope inmates who have information about unsolved homicides and missing persons cases will step forward with new tips.

Police named two suspects in the early 1990s, including a Snohomish County man who is a convicted serial burglar. As part of a plea agreement, the man agreed to tell investigators anything he knew about Snyder’s homicide. He denied involvement in the slaying. He recently was released from a lengthy prison sentence for a series of break-ins.

“We haven’t been able to rule anybody out yet,” Snohomish County sheriff’s detective Jim Scharf said when asked whether the man remains a suspect in the slaying.

Dave Snyder, who has since remarried, believes Tira Snyder and their daughter deserve justice. He hopes someone will come forward with information that will help lead detectives to the evidence they need to solve the crime.

“I always feel like Molly was short-changed,” Dave Snyder said. “She never got a chance to know her mother.”

Tira Snyder didn’t get nearly enough time to be a mom to her little girl.

“I can’t help thinking about how good of mom she was going to be,” Dave Snyder said. “She just wanted to care for Molly.”

Reporter Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463 or

About this series

Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives created the state’s first deck of cold-case playing cards. Each Sunday for a year, The Herald is publishing a story about a case featured on one of the cards. To see the 52 cards, go to

Anyone with information about unsolved homicides or missing persons cases is asked to call 800-222-TIPS (8477). A reward of up to $1,000 is offered.

Tips also can be left on the sheriff’s tip line at 425-388-3845. Callers may remain anonymous, although tips have been more successful when callers speak with detectives, police said.

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