Authorities link suspect to ax murder killings of 2 homeless men: docs

Two homeless men, brutally killed with an ax in Seattle, were allegedly murdered by the same suspect. Liam Kryger, 25, is being held without bail in the King County Jail.

Authorities recently linked the two murders, according to court documents obtained by FOX 13 Seattle.

Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz stated that Kryger was found with an ax at the time of his arrest, potentially preventing another murder.

Both victims, Paul Ewell and Daravuth Van, were attacked while sleeping outdoors. According to court documents, Kryger scouted the areas before the attacks, passing by the victims, backtracking, and then returning to attack.

Paul Ewell, a 68-year-old man loved by his neighbors, was found bleeding on Feb. 10. Court documents detail that in less than two weeks, Kryger allegedly targeted Ewell and Van, striking them with an ax while they slept. Ewell sustained severe traumatic injuries to his face and skull.

Surveillance footage reportedly shows Kryger walking past Ewell at around 2:07 a.m., then returning with an ax. He allegedly waited for a passerby before approaching Ewell’s sleeping spot outside the Seattle Men’s Chorus Building.

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A man was murdered with an ax in Seattle's First Hill neighborhood. (FOX 13 Seattle)

On Feb. 22, police were called to the Town Hall Building in the First Hill neighborhood, about a mile from where Ewell was found. Under a tarp and blanket, 52-year-old Daravuth Van was discovered dead with a deep head wound. Surveillance footage again captured a person in the area, allegedly with an ax.

Chief Diaz noted that police set up surveillance operations due to the violence. One detective spotted Kryger with an object, later identified as an ax, which he dropped while fleeing.

The ax, purchased from a Lowe’s off Rainier Avenue just hours before Ewell's murder, led investigators to Kryger. A Department of Corrections officer recognized him from surveillance images, leading to his arrest on March 3. Kryger admitted buying the ax for "self-defense" and discarding it when "he didn’t need it anymore."

The King County Prosecutor’s Office has filed two counts of first-degree murder with a deadly weapon against Kryger.

Casey McNerthney of the prosecutor's office said, "It doesn't matter who the victim is. Prosecutors want accountability when we have accusations like this."

During a search of Kryger’s home, officers found a stolen computer from the Men’s and Women’s Chorus Building, taken just days before Ewell was killed. Kryger's public defender declined to comment.

If convicted, Kryger could face a life sentence in prison.


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