John Blaine Reed went to an Ellensburg bank with a large check from the recent sale of his property, which had been damaged in the Oso landslide. That was the same day vehicles belonging to Patrick Shunn and Monique Patenaude were found.

Share story

One of the brothers charged in the presumed killings of an Arlington couple tried to cash a check for $96,000 before he went on the run, according to court documents filed Monday.

John Blaine Reed, 53, tried to cash the check at a bank in Ellensburg on April 14, the same day the couple’s vehicles were found in a steep embankment near their home in Oso, according to search warrants filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.

The money came from the recent sale of Reed’s property, which had been damaged by the Oso landslide in March 2014. The county bought out Reed’s house last month to ease risks from future flooding. The disaster wiped out a rural neighborhood and killed 43 people.

It was unclear from court documents whether John Reed got any of the money, but family members tried to funnel money his way, The (Everett) Herald reported.

Reed and his brother, Tony Clyde Reed, 49, have been charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of John Reed’s former neighbors, Patrick Shunn, 45, and his wife, Monique Patenaude, 46. The brothers were reportedly involved in a property dispute with the couple, who were reported missing two weeks ago. Their bodies have not been found.

Investigators believe the brothers may have headed for Mexico. Authorities described them as felons who should be considered armed and dangerous, as several guns appear missing from John Reed’s former home. Charging documents said authorities found blood in the bathtub there, as well as in John Reed’s pickup, the victims’ vehicles, and on gasoline-soaked clothing found in bags underneath a mattress outside the home.

Snohomish County sheriff’s spokeswoman Shari Ireton said the bank in Ellensburg, where Reeds’ parents live, wasn’t able to cash the large check but issued Reed five smaller cashier’s checks, KOMO-TV reported.

The bank issued a $40,000 check to John Reed and four checks for $14,000 each to his relatives. Authorities later put a hold on the checks, but one had already been cashed, KOMO reported.