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Originally published March 21, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified March 21, 2007 at 2:01 AM

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Slain Kent woman had feared for her life

In the weeks before her death, Merianne Lorentson told at least one friend that she needed to move away from Kent because she feared for...

Seattle Times staff reporter

In the weeks before her death, Merianne Lorentson told at least one friend that she needed to move away from Kent because she feared for her life.

Lorentson, a 24-year-old single mother with modeling and acting contracts, talked about taking her 5-year-old daughter to safety in Southern California, according to her father, Jerry Lorentson. But on March 9, she was found stabbed to death in her living room.

One longtime friend said that when he talked to Lorentson on March 4, she said she was being stalked by a man who had tried to rape her. The friend, an Oak Harbor man, requested that his name not be published because the alleged stalker had threatened to kill Lorentson's close male friends.

How to help


A trust account has been set up for Merianne Lorentson's 5-year-old daughter, Jade. Donations to the Jade Bland Educational Trust Savings Account may be made at any Bank of America Branch.

The funeral for Lorentson will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Church of the Ascension, 2330 Viewmont Way W., Seattle. The service is open to the public.

"He told her that she was going to be with him whether she liked it or not. He told her that if he couldn't have her nobody would," the Oak Harbor man said. "She wanted to get away to California."

Kent police said there was no sign that the attacker had forced a way into Lorentson's apartment, which could indicate she knew her killer. Police would not comment on the tips they've received but say they are trying to determine whether Lorentson may have known her attacker.

Kent Police Chief Steve Strachan said he has assigned five investigators to the case.

"We do have strong leads," Strachan said. "We have good information that we're following up on."

Jerry Lorentson, 65, a former King County criminal prosecutor, said he and several of his daughter's friends gave investigators the name of the person they all believe is responsible for the slaying.

He said he had been concerned about the crowd his daughter hung around with.

Lorentson said that when he expressed that concern, his daughter would tell him she could handle things herself.

Merianne Lorentson, a fitness trainer, and her daughter, Jade, had modeling contracts with Seattle Models Guild and Colleen Bell Modeling and Talent Agency, in Bellevue. Lorentson dreamed of becoming a famous runway model, a singer and an actress, friends said.

When Lorentson was killed, Jade was at her father's house for the night, Jerry Lorentson said. The girl is now in temporary foster care.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com

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