King County prosecutors say evidence found in a South Lake Union apartment where a woman was found dead last week suggests she was “executed,” shot once in the back and once in the chest.
Joseph Gongora, 33, was charged Monday with second-degree murder domestic violence, and his bail, initially set at $1 million, was increased to $2 million, court and jail records show.
The charges identify the victim as Crystal Rohre. Seattle police have said she was 28 years old. Though the charges don’t spell out her relationship with Gongora, the address of the apartment where her body was found is also listed as Gongora’s last known address in charging documents.
The charges also accuse Gongora of committing the crime against an intimate partner.
Rohre’s death is the 13th domestic-violence-related homicide committed in King County this year, according to Casey McNerthney, a spokesperson for Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. He noted in an email that there were seven domestic-violence homicides last year, and seven in 2018.
“Overall, there (have) been 28 violent deaths linked to domestic violence so far in 2020. That includes murder-suicides, other homicides perpetrated by convicted DV offenders, and two officer-involved shootings of DV suspects,” McNerthney wrote.
Senior Deputy Prosecutor Jason Simmons wrote in charging papers that Gongora has no known criminal history.
“Currently, investigators are not aware of any evidence suggesting there was a physical struggle or verbal argument prior to the killing,” Simmons wrote. “Rather, the currently known evidence suggests Gongora retrieved a firearm then executed Crystal Rohre.”
Court records do not indicate whether Gongora has an attorney. He is to be arraigned Oct. 12.
According to the charges:
Around 4:40 p.m. Wednesday, a man later identified as Gongora walked into the King County Jail, located at 500 Fifth Ave. in Seattle, and told a jail officer on duty in the lobby that he wanted to turn himself in for a homicide. Gongora was handcuffed and jail staff called Seattle police.
Officers were dispatched to the jail and to an apartment in the 1800 block of Minor Avenue, the charges say. Two officers who went to the apartment building to conduct a welfare check contacted an employee, who used a key to open the door to a unit on the 30th floor because the occupant could be in need of immediate medical aid.
The officers determined the woman had died and left the apartment until a search warrant was signed by a judge. Gongora was arrested and booked into jail.
During a search of the apartment, crime-scene investigators found a .45-caliber handgun, ammunition and two spent shell casings, say the charges.
Seattle police homicide detectives interviewed a couple who live next door to the apartment where Rohre was shot. The husband and wife said they had been asleep when they were woken by a loud noise around 10:30 or 11 p.m. Tuesday, followed by a second loud noise 20 seconds later.
Thinking something had fallen in their apartment, the husband went to investigate, found nothing out of place and went back to bed.