Share story

A King County District Court judge on Monday found probable cause to hold a 20-year-old Renton man on investigation of second-degree murder in connection with the strangling of the man’s 20-year-old girlfriend on Saturday.

The judge set bail at $750,000 for Gabriel G. Navarro, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Just before noon Saturday, Navarro called 911 and told a dispatcher he had killed his girlfriend inside an apartment at 1300 S. Eagle Ridge Drive, according to the statement of probable cause outlining the police case against him.

Police say he also told the 911 dispatcher he was armed with a handgun, planned to use it against police, and had rigged a propane tank to explode if anyone attempted to enter the bedroom where his girlfriend’s body was, the statement says.

Around the same time, the girlfriend’s grandfather called 911 about a disturbing text he had received from Navarro, which blamed the grandfather for the young woman’s death, police say. According to the statement, the text read in part: “… you turned her against me, you abused her heart by offering her to go to college.”

Renton police arrived at the complex and saw Navarro outside the residence, but he ran back inside, ignoring officers’ commands to surrender, the statement says. Officers fired nonlethal rounds through the apartment’s front and back windows, at which point Navarro walked out and gave himself up, it says.

An officer carried the woman’s body outside and attempted CPR, but she was dead, the statement says.

Death investigators with the King County Medical Examiner’s Office gave the preliminary cause of death as strangulation, according to the statement. As of Monday, the woman’s name and official cause of death had not been released.

According to Renton police, Navarro claimed “Frost” — the name of his alternate personality — was responsible for the death of his girlfriend.

The statement does not say whether a handgun was recovered at the scene or if Navarro had in fact rigged a propane tank to explode.

Navarro does not appear to have any criminal history in Washington, court records show.

Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, said formal charges are expected to be filed by Wednesday.

Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report.

Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654, or