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Bellevue police arrest suspect in murder of 70-year-old woman

A 53-year-old man has been arrested in the suspected murder of a woman found dead in her downtown Bellevue apartment.

A relative found the 70-year-old woman’s body Sunday evening in an apartment building in the 1300 block of NE 12th Street, sparking a widespread manhunt.

“In less than 7-10 hours we had a suspect in custody for that murder,” says Bellevue police spokeswoman Carla Iafrate. “The community doesn’t need to fear that is was a random act.”

The suspect has a criminal history that includes includes convictions for robbery, theft, taking motor vehicles, and is currently on active supervision by the state Department of Corrections for a 2011 conviction for taking a motor vehicle, The Seattle Times reports.

Iafrate says the victim was first discovered when a family member who hadn’t heard from the woman used a ladder to get in to the apartment and called 911 after finding her body.

Detectives got a search warrant Monday morning and quickly determined the woman died as a result of homicidal violence.

Iafrate won’t offer specifics about the cause of death but said crime-scene investigators from the State Patrol Crime Lab assisted in the investigation.

The suspect was arrested during a traffic stop in downtown Bellevue this morning, she says.

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