Mexican authorities catch man wanted in killings of couple

AP News
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Posted: Jul 22, 2016 5:57 PM
Mexican authorities catch man wanted in killings of couple

SEATTLE (AP) — A man accused of killing a couple in rural Washington state and burying their remains in a remote forest clearing has been captured in Mexico, authorities in Washington said Friday.

John Blaine Reed, 53, was arrested Thursday by Mexican authorities in Sonora, Mexico, and expelled from that country for violating immigration laws, said Snohomish County Sheriff's Lt. Doug Jeske.

He was taken into custody at the border by U.S. Marshals Service and booked in Pima County Jail in Arizona, Jeske said.

Reed had been on the run since the April slayings near Oso, a tiny rural community northeast of Seattle that was devastated in 2014 by the nation's worst landslide disaster.

Investigators believe Reed fatally shot Patrick Shunn, 45, and his wife, Monique Patenaude, on April 11, reportedly over a property dispute. He was charged with two counts of first-degree murder by Snohomish County prosecutors.

Reed is expected to have a court hearing in Pima County next week, Jeske said. It's unknown yet when Reed would return to Washington state to face charges. Jeske said it would depend on whether Reed waives extradition.

Authorities believe Reed and his brother Tony Reed fled to Mexico after the killings. Tony Reed turned himself in last month and led detectives to the couple's gravesite. Tony Reed pleaded guilty last month to two counts of rendering criminal assistance.

Reed's parents, Clyde and Faye Reed, of Ellensburg, Washington, have also been charged with helping John Reed. Snohomish County prosecutors say the couple gave their sons money and a vehicle and helped them escape the country.

The slain couple lived on a 21-acre riverfront spread abutting the scar where the hillside gave way in 2014, obliterating three dozen houses and killing 43 people. They shared a gated driveway with John Reed.

Shunn was a one-time Army Ranger who worked at a company that refurbishes aircraft interiors. Patenaude, a British Columbia native, had worked at an organization that provides services to disabled adults.