Hours before the alleged murder of Britney Galindez, 17, Edmonds police pulled over a car she, suspect Robert Langendoerfer and three others were riding in.
During the traffic stop, Galindez vomited inside the car, angering Langendoerfer, according to documents filed Nov. 14 by the Snohomish County prosecutor’s office.
Langendoerfer, 21, of Edmonds, is accused of choking Galindez, stabbing her in the neck with a screwdriver and holding her underwater at Lake Ballinger until she drowned.
Galindez’s body was found floating in Lake Ballinger Oct. 21. She was reported missing two days earlier.
Prosecutors charged Langendoerfer on Nov. 14 with first-degree murder in Snohomish Superior Court. He is being held on $1 million bail.
Witnesses said Langendoerfer, a gang member, got angry with Galindez after she threw up. He allegedly told one witness he was upset that she was disrespecting him, according to a court document.
In the traffic stop, police cited the car’s driver, another 17-year-old, with not having insurance, according to court documents. The passengers had been drinking and doing drugs, but the driver had not.
The car’s occupants eventually drove to a casino, where they tried to clean out the car, and then to Lake Ballinger.
Investigators tracked down three fellow gang members who were with Galindez on Oct. 13. They watched as she was stabbed and drowned, according to court documents.
Galindez threw up in the car during the traffic stop. After the officer left, Langendoerfer became upset and started yelling at her, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Dave Hiltner wrote in court documents.
The group pulled into the parking lot of a casino, where two security officers gave them towels and water to clean up the car, the witnesses reported.
Langendoerfer told one witness he was going to “kill the (expletive) if she does something else,” Hiltner wrote.
One witness told detectives he coaxed Galindez back into the car and told her they were going to the lake to talk things out. Once at the lake, the witnesses walked toward the water.
Langendoerfer and Galindez lagged behind. One witness told investigators Galindez was sending text messages. Then they heard a thud and saw Langendoerfer on top of the girl, court papers said. The three witnesses saw Langendoerfer stab Galindez with a screwdriver, they said. She was crying and asking “Why?”
The teens told police they didn’t do anything because they were scared.
Langendoerfer allegedly picked up Galindez, who was struggling to break free. He threw her in the water, Hiltner wrote. She started to swim away. The witnesses reported seeing Langendoerfer empty his pockets, take off his shirt and wade into the lake. The witnesses watched as he held Galindez underwater for about five minutes, Hiltner wrote.
Langendoerfer got out of the water and then threatened to kill them if they told anyone what happened, the witnesses told police.
Then the group drove off.
Diane Hefley is a reporter with the Daily Herald in Everett. She contributed to this report.