'I have no faith in them:' Murdered cabbies' girlfriend furious with details of case

The partner of a taxi driver murdered in Tukwila is beyond angry, saying that she cannot comprehend why a person connected to her boyfriend's murder was not in custody.

The person of interest, Jonathan Lee, is a convicted child rapist who fled JBLM before his court-martial hearing.

Police arrested Lee last week while he was hiding in a Redmond neighborhood-- the same neighborhood where officers found Nick Hokema's car, the taxi driver found murdered.

"Now my whole life is just about anger. I’m furious. I am so angry, and someone is to blame for this. Somebody dropped the ball on this,’ said Nicole Sharkody.

Sharkody is Hokema's partner of five years.

Tukwila Police said they found Hokema's body left in a parking lot at the Southcenter Mall. The medical examiner said he was stabbed to death. His taxi had also been stolen.

After more than two weeks waiting for answers, police announced a break in the case. Officers said they found Hokema's cab and a person of interest was under arrest. 

A law enforcement source told FOX 13 News that Lee was the person in custody.


JBLM deserter, convicted child molester in custody as person of interest in cab driver's murder: source

The vehicle that belonged to a Tumwater cab driver who was murdered, and his body dumped at Southcenter Mall, was located almost two weeks after the homicide investigation began. Police also announced that a person of interest is in custody.

"He probably put him at ease because he might have been in a soldier uniform. He probably thought he was just going back to JBLM. He had no idea that this guy was even out there, that he was dangerous. None of us did,’ said Sharkody.

FOX 13 News obtained Lee’s charging documents from his arrest in Pierce County in 2022. He was booked into jail in April 2022, accused of raping two family members, a 6-year-old girl and a 7-year-old girl.

A few months after his arrest, the case was handed over to the military.

"Here's a man who had nothing to lose. I saw the charges he was being faced with. I saw the circumstances, and nothing was done to prevent him from leaving that place,’ said Sharkody.

There is no bail system in the military.

Instead, if you want to confine a defendant before trial, they must be a flight risk or a threat to create future serious misconduct.

"I want to know who his commanding officer was. I want to know step-by-step what was their thought process. How did they reach this conclusion that he got one more day? He got time to pack his things," said Sharkody.

Officials with the Army tell FOX 13 News that Lee had no history of other crimes, he lived on base and reported for duty daily. 

That is until about four days before his court-martial hearing, when Lee deserted the base.

"I have no faith in any of their systems. I have no faith in them. I don't have faith in anything anymore," said Sharkody.

Tukwila Police are the lead investigators on this case. They have not confirmed Lee is the person of interest under arrest.

They tell FOX 13 News they are not releasing information out of respect for the family.