Tacoma father pleads not guilty in decades old murder of young son

Former KIRO Newsradio Reporter

A father accused of killing his young son more than 30 years ago pleaded not guilty Wednesday to first degree manslaughter in Pierce County Superior Court.

Stanley Guidroz, 57, allegedly killed his 3-year-old son, Wallace Guidroz, in 1983. Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged him in September 2014, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Guidroz was serving a sentence in a Louisiana prison for the murder of his wife, and was just transferred to the Pierce County Jail, where he is being held without bail.

“This is another success for the Cold Case Unit,” said Lindquist. “Justice matters, no matter how long it takes.”

Guidroz reported his son missing to Tacoma police on Jan. 10, 1983, according to court documents. He claimed he had taken his son fishing that day, and then to Point Defiance Park.

Guidroz claimed he met another family at the park and believed that family kidnapped the child.

But police were unable to locate the supposed family that Guidroz described and couldn’t tie him to the disappearance, so the case was eventually inactivated.

Guidroz left Washington state in 1984 and did not return, according to court documents.

Detective Gene Miller of the Tacoma Police Department’s Cold Case Unit re-opened the investigation in 2011 and noticed several inconsistencies in Guidroz’s account of the events from the day Wallace disappeared, Lindquist said.

Miller traveled to Louisiana to interview Guidroz after learning the man had been arrested. After first sticking with his original story, Guidroz admitted killing Wallace.

According to Miller, Guidroz said that after they went fishing, he took Wallace home to feed him. When the child started fussing in his high chair, Guidroz “just lost it.”

The man backhanded Wallace, sending him falling to the floor and hitting his head.

The child wasn’t moving and Guidroz said he, “knew he was dead,” according to court documents. Guidroz subsequently drove the child to the Tacoma waterfront and buried him in a shallow grave before calling police to report Wallace missing. Guidroz told the detective he feared being labeled a “child killer” in prison.

Guidroz is being held without bail in the Pierce County Jail.