New details in murder of West Seattle couple whose remains were found in suitcase
A suspect has officially been charged in the murder of a West Seattle couple, whose remains were found in a suitcase and duffel bag at Duwamish Head in late June.
The suspect is Michael Lee Dudley, a 62-year-old Burien man. He now faces two counts of second degree murder. He’s currently in jail, with bail set at $5 million.
In late June, SPD homicide detectives identified the remains of two individuals found near the water in the 1100 block of Alki Avenue Southwest as 27-year-old Austin Wenner and 35-year-old Jessica Lewis. The two were a couple who had been dating for eight years.
According to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, the couple died from gunshot wounds sustained around June 9. Their families report that they had been renting a room from Dudley in Burien.
A motive has yet to be established, although there’s evidence pointing to Dudley being upset with the couple for not paying rent.
According to The Seattle Times, a witness moving into Dudley’s home on June 9 reported seeing him with broken glasses and scratches, before seeing a hand sticking out from underneath a pile of clothing in an upstairs bedroom. Upon leaving the house that night, the witness says she saw Dudley laying out sheets of plastic in the basement.
After serving a search warrant on the house, police found bullet holes, emptied rounds, and blood in the room where the couple was staying.
According to charging papers, investigators believe he may have had assistance from other people in disposing of the bodies.
Dudley was arrested last Wednesday at his residence in Burien.