Burglars Find Dead Woman, Swipe Body, Identity: Cops

Yet men in Washington state did not get far
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 27, 2015 3:46 PM CDT
Burglars Find Dead Woman, Swipe Body, Identity: Cops
When encountering a dead person in the course of a burglary, it's probably best to just report it and not attempt a bumbling attempt at identity theft.   (Shutterstock)

Two men accused of finding a Washington woman's body when they burglarized her home, then hiding the body and assuming her identity, have been arrested, a Pierce County sheriff's spokesman says. "It's a bizarre story with a lot of moving pieces," Ed Troyer said yesterday. The two men, 57 and 46, were arrested on multiple counts of theft and identity theft, KOMO-TV of Seattle reported. They're expected in court on Monday. Investigators think the 63-year-old Graham woman died recently of natural causes while unloading horse feed from her truck, the News Tribune reported. Her horse was found dead on the property Wednesday, apparently of starvation and exposure.

The two men are accused of going to the home to burglarize it sometime after the woman died, finding her body and removing it. "Instead of running away or making an anonymous phone call, they took the body away and wrapped it up and hid it on their property under a bale of hay," Troyer told the newspaper. The woman's co-workers reported her missing June 20. A few days later, one man is accused of using the woman's identity and credit cards. Her credit union alerted officials to the activity. Troyer said that information led officers to the two men. Officers searched the men's home with cadaver dogs and found the woman's body. Detectives think the burglary happened before the missing person report was filed, and that the house was a random target and the men were not involved in her death. "We were able to backtrack that these guys were actually burglars and thieves and not murderers," Troyer said. "But still, pretty creepy... the whole thing's totally bizarre." (More weird crimes stories.)

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