Two bodies believed to be those of a missing Arlington couple have been found near Oso, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday.
EVERETT — Two bodies believed to be those of a missing Arlington couple have been found near Oso after detectives were led to the site by one of the men accused of killing them, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday.
Investigators recovered the bodies of a man and woman in a remote area a few miles north of the home of Patrick Shunn and Monique Patenaude, both of whom disappeared last month. They were found near an area where the married couple’s cars previously had been dumped.
Tony C. Reed, one of the brothers suspected in the couple’s deaths, led detectives to the buried bodies, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Shari Ireton.
Medical examiners still need to confirm the identities, Ireton said.
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Shunn, 45, and Patenaude, 46, were last seen April 11. Detectives believe they were killed the same day, and their bodies dumped in the woods near their home.
Tony Reed, 49, and John B. Reed, 53, each have been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the slayings. John Reed, a former neighbor who shared a driveway with the couple, had an “ongoing and constant” feud with them, authorities have said.
After the couple’s disappearance last month, the brothers fled to Mexico, becoming targets of an international manhunt. Tony Reed surrendered to authorities last week; John Reed remains at large.
Earlier Tuesday, Tony Reed pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder during his arraignment in Everett — his first court appearance in Washington since U.S. Marshals took him into custody May 16 at the San Ysidro Port of Entry at the U.S.-Mexico border.
A judge set Tony Reed’s trial date for July 15, although that will likely be postponed. His bail remains at $5 million.
Reed’s surrender was arranged by his attorney, James Kirkham, of Ellensburg, who was with Reed during the arraignment. Kirkham asked that Reed be allowed to speak with his parents while he is in custody, and Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Bruce Weiss agreed as long as the case isn’t discussed.
Kirkham has said his client is not guilty of first-degree murder and surrendered to defend himself against the charges. Reed also was concerned for his safety, the lawyer said.
Kirkham confirmed that Reed went out with sheriff’s detectives Monday to help locate the bodies.
Snohomish County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Craig Matheson declined to talk about the possibility of a plea deal, but he said discussions with Tony Reed are under way.
He said the main goals were to find the victims’ bodies and to ensure the charges against Tony Reed are appropriate.
Asked why Reed surrendered to authorities, Matheson said, “He got tired of running, I guess.”
Authorities allege the Reed brothers killed the missing couple April 11, the last day Shunn and Patenaude were seen alive.
The brothers allegedly dumped the bodies and the couple’s vehicles in the remote woods near Oso, then traveled to their parents’ home in Ellensburg before fleeing the state April 14, charging papers say.
In the weeks that followed, the fugitive brothers were sighted several times in Mexico, according to search-warrant records filed by sheriff’s investigators.
Prosecutors contend the men are tied to the couple’s disappearance and slayings by a variety of evidence, including blood and other items recovered from the scene where the vehicles were found, at John Reed’s former Oso property, and at the Reed parents’ home in Ellensburg.
Investigators contend the missing couple’s ongoing dispute with John Reed included his threat to shoot them after they cut brush next to his property in 2013. Charging papers also describe Reed as an aggressive neighbor angered by various people after the deadly landslide next to his property in Oso that killed 43 people in 2014.
After the slide, Reed voluntarily sold his property to the county for $245,700 under a flood-mitigation program, officials have said.
County parks officials who administer the buyout program were preparing a “right of entry” document to allow Reed to return to get his belongings, but they wanted to fix a damaged road to the property before granting him access. Reed, who was cooperative during the sale, expressed frustration over that delay.
Several weeks before her disappearance, Patenaude had complained that Reed had been illegally squatting there, according to charging documents.
Reacting to news that the two bodies presumed to be the couple had been found, Shunn’s brother Erik Shunn posted on Facebook: “… I am also glad they have been found. I am really sad though also because even though there was little hope, all hope is gone now. This makes it real for me.”