A 36-year-old Seattle woman was found dead in the back seat of a car that had been involved in a slow-speed collision with a train in Kent last week and detectives quickly realized her injuries weren’t from the crash, according to Kent police.

On Tuesday, her ex-boyfriend, a 37-year-old Tukwila man, was booked into the Maleng Regional Justice Center (RJC) on investigation of homicide, court and jail records show. He is expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday.

The Seattle Times is not naming the homicide suspect because he has not yet appeared before a judge or been criminally charged.

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the victim as Destinie Gates-Jackson and determined she died from asphyxia due to strangulation at about 2 a.m. on April 22.

Kent Assistant Police Chief Jarod Kasner said in a Tuesday news release that a witness called 911 at 3 a.m. on April 22 and reported a car had collided with a train near South 212th Street and 77th Avenue South. The witness said the car stopped briefly but then drove off, the release says. Police officers found the vehicle nearby and began CPR on the woman but she was declared dead at the scene, according to the release.

Detectives determined the woman’s injuries were suspicious and inconsistent with the hit-and-run collision, the release says.


The male driver was arrested at the scene for a Department of Corrections violation and was booked into the SCORE Jail in Des Moines before being transferred to the RJC on Tuesday, Kasner said in a phone interview.

Help for domestic-violence survivors

If you are in immediate danger, call 911. If you have been abused by an intimate partner, you can call the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or 800-787-3224 (TTY). A variety of agencies in the area offer assistance, including confidential shelters, counseling, child therapy and legal help. For a list of resources, visit the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence's website.

Court records show Gates-Jackson was the victim in a 2013 domestic-violence case involving the same suspect, who was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree assault, first-degree theft, intimidating a witness and unlawful imprisonment. According to the state Department of Corrections, the man was released from the Monroe Correctional Complex in September.

In that case, Gates-Jackson — who at the time went by Destinie Gates — was beaten, strangled with her purse strap, dragged from a moving car and locked in the trunk of her vehicle, the records say.

“Destinie had visible marks on her neck, matted blood on the right side of her head due to a laceration in her hairline, blood in her right ear, scrapes and broken skin on her left wrist. It appears there was petechial hemorrhaging around Destinie’s eyes, which is indicative of strangulation,” a Seattle police detective wrote at the time, noting Gates also suffered a broken arm.

At the time of the suspect’s sentencing in July 2015, he was ordered by the court to have no contact with Gates for 10 years. The records say the suspect is a member of the Black Gangster Disciples street gang and as of 2013, he was the subject of nine different protection orders involving Gates and at least three others protecting other women. Court records show his criminal history dates back to 1996, when he was 14 years old.