MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Suspect in death of Thurston Co. couple pleads not guilty

Dec 7, 2023, 9:07 AM | Updated: 9:22 am

missing couple thurston...

Thurston County couple Davido, left, and Karen Koep are seen in recent photos. (Photo courtesy of Thurston County Sheriff's Office)

(Photo courtesy of Thurston County Sheriff's Office)

The man on trial for killing a Thurston County couple pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday morning.

Timothy Burke, a tenant of the victims he is accused of killing, plead not guilty to two counts of aggravated murder for the disappearance and deaths of Davido and Karen Koep.

Court documents released last month showed that the suspect was in the process of being evicted by the couple before they were reported missing. The suspect, an Olympian man in his 40s, was arrested Nov. 17 and first appeared in court Nov. 20.

Burke was booked into Thurston County Jail on two counts of first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping.

The bodies of the couple who went missing in mid-November were found Monday, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

Their bodies were found buried off Stedman Road Southeast, on Joint Base Lewis-McChord property, less than a mile away from the couple’s property. The man who was previously arrested as a suspect in their disappearance was living as a tenant on that property.

More crime news: Man arrested in connection with disappearance of Thurston County couple

On Nov. 13, sheriff’s deputies were asked to do a welfare check on Karen Koep and her husband Davido when they didn’t show up for work Monday, Nov. 13.

The suspect was booked into Thurston County Jail on two counts of first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping.

“Detectives responded to the scene to investigate the discovery, and sadly, we believe Davido and Karen Koep have been located based on the preliminary investigation,” said a spokesperson in a press conference.

There is no official cause of death yet, but detectives believed there was a shooting involved due to shell case findings.

The Thurston County Coroner’s Office is working to positively identify the bodies to confirm the identity of the victims and to confirm a cause of death.

If you have any information that might help law enforcement solve the couple’s murder, you are asked to email detectives@co.thurston.wa.us.

Keith, a neighbor, spoke to KIRO 7 and said he lives near Davido and Karen Koep’s home. He said Koep was his doctor. A void has been left in the neighborhood since they’ve been missing, Keith said.

“She was my own personal doctor and I find it very frustrating that here’s the community going through this grieving, feeling very bad for all the people and families affected by this,” he said. “I’m outraged. I’m angry. And somehow the wheels of justice have to turn in a good way. My prayers for the family. It’s been one of the most miserable days of my life.”

Burke will be held in jail without bail, and his trial is set to begin in January.

Contributing: KIRO 7

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