Ballistics, car fragments led to arrest of Marysville man in Molly Conley murder
Law enforcement officials detailed Monday the month-long investigation that led to the arrest of a Marysville man in connection with the shooting death of a Bishop Blanchet High School freshman.
Molly Conley, 15, was shot in the neck and died while walking in Lake Stevens with a group of friends to celebrate her birthday on June 1.
Erick N. Walker, 26, was arrested Friday night at his home and booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of first-degree murder, five counts of second-degree assault and four counts of committing a drive-by shooting.
Walker is being held without bail until a scheduled court appearance on Tuesday, at which time prosecutors will recommended that he be held on $5 million bail.
Court documents released Monday outlined a complicated investigation that tied Walker to shootings in Lake Stevens and Marysville that occurred in the hours after Conley’s murder.
“The crime lab was able to provide a list of several possible types of weapons used in the shootings the night Molly died,” Shari Ireton, a spokesperson for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, said at a news conference Monday. “A list of those who recently purchased similar weapons was provided to detectives. The suspect’s name was included in that list.”
Detectives said Monday that Walker left another crucial clue at the scene of a drive-by shooting in Marysville. At 1:59 a.m. on June 2, a man called 911 to report multiple rounds had been fired into homes and cars in his neighborhood. It was later discovered that the gunman may have struck a 1996 Saturn SL2 as he left the scene.
Plastic and paint remnants were gathered as evidence.
“The crime lab was also able to provide a list of several possible vehicles involved in a hit and run in Marysville that same night based on evidence gathered and examined,” Ireton said. “Investigators were able to match one of those vehicle types to one registered to the suspect.”
According to the court documents, police inspected Walker’s car while he was working his shift at Boeing and discovered damage to the black Pontiac G6 coupe that was consistent with damage reported in the hit and run. Detectives later spotted the same car parked at Walker’s residence.
A search of his home uncovered several firearms, including a Ruger Blackhawk and an M-1 rifle. Both firearms are capable of shooting the type of ammunition found at several of the scenes, according to the sheriff’s office.
Detectives said Walker had no connection to Conley and acted alone.
A spokesperson for the Conley family released the following statement on their behalf:
Our Daughter and Sister Molly Conley was shot and killed June 1st in Lakes Stevens while celebrating her 15th Birthday with friends. As this tragedy unfolds we ask the media and public to recall the beauty, grace and love that is Molly. She inspired classmates, inspired teammates and opponents, and inspired her family to live better lives, to find hope in the midst of hardship, and to play the game–whether soccer, lacrosse, or life–with enthusiasm, determination, and joy. She is the reason we are here today, and it is her life, more than her death, that we hope people will remember; since it is her life that was so amazing.
The violence that took her life and the circumstances that caused another human being to commit such an act are compelling and all want to understand it. As this aspect of Molly’s story is examined do not lose sight of our daughter and sister; continue to honor her and present her shining example.
We thank the media for respecting our privacy and grieving. We are grateful to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department, especially Detective Brad Pince and Under Sheriff Tom Davis, for their ongoing dedication and kindness to us during this horrific time. Their efforts bring great relief to our family and the Lake Steven’s community. We are grateful for the outpouring of support from Lake Stevens and surrounding communities who’s contributions toward Molly have been so helpful.
We continue to appreciate the generosity and love shown to us by our friends and relatives, our Magnolia and Kenmore communities, and all those that loved Molly and have been inspired by her beautiful life.