Desperate search for Port Orchard killer as deputies comb disturbing Internet posting for clues
PORT ORCHARD, Wash. -- Detectives are investigating the killing of a woman in her South Kitsap apartment, along with graphic photos posted online reportedly showing the crime.
Detectives say the photos are disturbing, and they're investigating whether or not they are indeed linked to the killing.
"Anytime we have images of this graphic nature that are posted on social media and perpetrate to be this crime scene, we are going to take those seriously," Kitsap County Spokesperson Scott Wilson said. "But we're unable to confirm whether those photographs are of this victim right now."
A family member found the woman's body around 3:32 p.m. Tuesday in her apartment in the 4000 block of Madrona Drive SE. Detectives say the family member who found the woman's body at first thought she was just badly injured, but deputies determined she had been killed.
Police did not release how the woman in her 30s was killed, but said it appears the woman was targeted, and this was not a random assault.
The identity of the women has not yet been released, and the Kitsap County Coroner will make a positive identification and determine the cause of death.
The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office said the woman’s car is missing, too. It is a gold 2001 Ford Focus with black wheel rims and with the Washington license plate 495-YLY.
Along with the crime scene, police are now focusing on the set of photos posted to various image hosting sites purported to be of the woman's death. The photos were posted anonymously. However, text accompanying the pictures implies the person responsible for the killing took the photos and posted them online before authorities were alerted to the body.
Detectives have not confirmed the woman in the pictures was the deceased, but a neighbor who had viewed the pictures online told Q13 FOX News the woman in the photographs appeared to be the South Kitsap resident.
IT specialists are contacting the hosting website where the photos were posted in an effort to try to find out who put them up them. Detectives are also continuing their investigation at the scene.
Neighbors say they don't know much about the woman, and they didn't hear anything suspicious Tuesday. Several neighbors said this woman and her son just moved in a few months ago. The woman also lived with a man who has not been seen at the house since the murder, neighbors told Q13 FOX News.
No one seemed to know her well.
A description of the deceased woman’s vehicle has been broadcast to area law enforcement agencies, the sheriff’s office said.
Sheriff’s investigators are asking that anyone who sees this car or has knowledge of its location to contact Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office via 911 or call 360-308-5400.
On Wednesday morning, Orchard Heights Elementary was on modified lockdown as a search for the killer continued. Kitsap School District official Michelle Reid said the lockdown was out of an "abundance of caution," not for any specific threat.