Police have arrested three suspects for the murder of a Seattle-area woman whose body was found floating in Puget Sound in 2006, authorities say.
Officials from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife found the headless body of Shanan Lynn Read, 33, between Manchester and Blake Island on Jan. 15, 2006, after a citizen reported something suspicious in the water.
The Kitsap County Coroner’s Office had initially told Read’s mother that her daughter had taken a lethal amount of drugs when she died. While the official manner of death was unknown at the time, Read’s family said they were sure she had been murdered.
Two years later, the coroner ruled Read’s death a homicide, though the events that led up to her death remained unknown.
A forensic anthropologist determined that decomposition and feeding marine animals likely caused Read’s head to separate from her body. Her head was found two months later in the same area.
Within the last 10 months, investigators identified four individuals, one of whom has since died, allegedly involved in Read’s murder, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
On Monday, law enforcement arrested a 39-year-old man in Philadelphia on suspicion of first-degree murder.
On Tuesday, officials arrested a 34-year-old man in Riverside, California, on suspicion of first-degree murder. A 42-year-old man was arrested the same day in Sarasota, Florida, on suspicion of second-degree murder.
All three remain in their respective states awaiting transportation to Washington.
Read was killed in August 2005 after she was struck in the head with a metal baton in a Seattle apartment. Her body was then taken to a Port Orchard cabin owned by the family of one of the suspects, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Two of the suspects returned to the cabin repeatedly to pour chemicals over Read’s body to speed up the decomposition process, the office said. They later disposed of her body by dumping the container into Puget Sound with help from another man, who has been convicted of unlawful disposal of human remains.
Read struggled with a methamphetamine substance use disorder and was survived by four children.