EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — For six weeks, authorities said a missing Washington state couple had been killed. Two brothers who fled to Mexico were charged with their slayings.
But until Tuesday, no bodies had been found.
That changed after one of the suspects turned himself in and provided information that led detectives to a remote area near the couple's home. There, they found buried remains near where the couple's vehicles were dumped weeks ago.
"We are waiting for medical examiner confirmation, but we have reason to believe that they are Patrick Shunn and Monique Patenaude," Snohomish County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Shari Ireton said at a news conference.
Authorities had been searching for the couple since they were reported missing April 12. Deputies had looked in the area where the bodies were found, about 50 miles northeast of Seattle near the town of Oso, but the details from Tony Clyde Reed led to the discovery, Ireton said.
He has been cooperating with detectives since turning himself in last week at the U.S.-Mexico border after a monthlong manhunt, Ireton said. Authorities are still searching for his 53-year-old brother, John Blaine Reed, who lived near the couple and was in a property dispute with them.
Tony Reed's attorney, James Kirkham, helped arrange the surrender, telling The Daily Herald in Everett on Monday that his client wanted to answer the allegations against him.
"My client is innocent of the first-degree murder charges," Kirkham said. "He's here to defend himself."
Tony Reed pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two counts of first-degree murder and unlawful firearm possession.
His brother lived up an old logging road from the couple's 21-acre spread in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. When Patenaude and Shunn sued other neighbors over a property dispute more than two years ago, they avoided naming him as a defendant because they didn't want to irk him, their former lawyer, Thomas Adams, has said.
John Reed had threatened to shoot the couple for cutting brush between their two properties in 2013, according to court documents.
The land abutted the nation's worst landslide disaster, which wiped out a rural neighborhood in Oso and killed 43 people two years ago. In an interview shortly afterward, John Reed told The Seattle Times that he watched as the slide roared past his front yard.
The county recently bought out Reed's house to ease risks from future flooding, but investigators believe Reed had been returning to the home since then.
He was upset that his property had been condemned, and he recently had been angry because the couple had complained that he was squatting at his old house, leading authorities to warn him to leave, according to charging documents.