The body of the man police believe barricaded himself inside an Issaquah house over the weekend, leading to a 16-hour standoff with police before the house went up in flames, was found inside the burned home, authorities said Monday. The man is suspected of taking two adults and two young children hostage — all of whom were rescued by SWAT teams before the fire erupted.
The suspect, who police said was armed with a handgun, was the 28-year-old brother of the woman who lived at the home in the 5200 block of Isola Place Northwest, authorities said Sunday.
Washington State Patrol Trooper Rick Johnson confirmed that a person’s remains, which officials believe to be the suspect’s, had been found inside the home Monday afternoon.
Johnson did not confirm the name of the suspect, and he said the medical examiner’s office will formally identify the man and determine his cause of death. Officials have not released the hostages’ names, either.
“The negotiators did everything they could possibly do to bring this to a peaceful resolution without loss of life,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately in this situation it did not end that way. But yes, the hostages were able to come out and be safe, and we’re thankful for that.”
Arson investigators are now working to pin down the cause of the house fire and where it started, Johnson said.
The standoff began Saturday around 8 p.m.: The woman was at home with her boyfriend and children, ages 5 and 8, and called police to report a suspicious person in her yard, according to Issaquah police. When officers arrived they could not find anyone and were trying to contact the homeowner again when she called and reported that she and her family were being held at gunpoint.
Over the next five hours, police negotiators tried unsuccessfully to contact the suspect. Around 1 a.m. on Sunday, a King County sheriff’s SWAT team entered the home and rescued the boyfriend and two children, Washington State Patrol Trooper Chase Van Cleave said Sunday. Around 10:25 a.m. Sunday, a second SWAT operation rescued the woman unharmed, leaving the suspect alone in the house.
Minutes later, SWAT teams deployed gas inside the house, in an attempt to get the suspect to surrender. But the man didn’t leave, and shortly before 1 p.m., the house went up in flames.
State Patrol officials said Sunday they weren’t sure whether that type of gas was capable of starting a fire.
Johnson did not provide information about the suspect’s motive. Officials may release the suspect’s name as early as Tuesday morning, he said.