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Originally published May 27, 2014 at 7:22 PM | Page modified May 28, 2014 at 3:20 PM

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Evidence left in shopping cart led police to slaying suspect

Evidence left in a shopping cart in South Seattle led police to arrest a 46-year-old man in connection with a body found in the cart last week, court records show.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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The man suspected of killing another man and leaving his body in a shopping cart in a South Seattle neighborhood last week didn’t exactly try to cover his tracks, police said.

Investigators who examined the shopping cart found paperwork from Sound Mental Health that bore the name of the 46-year-old suspect, according to an affidavit of probable cause that outlines the police case. In addition, fingerprints lifted from the cart were matched to the suspect, the affidavit said.

Police said the suspect was arrested at his wife’s house Friday evening. He acknowledged he knew the victim and had seen him recently, but he asked for a lawyer when questioned further, according to the affidavit.

The man was booked into King County Jail on a felony warrant for a probation violation in connection with another case and for investigation of homicide. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail, with his next court appearance scheduled for Thursday.

The Seattle Times is not naming the man because he has not been charged.

Witnesses said the suspect was seen struggling to push a shopping cart with a body in it on South Austin Street in Seattle’s Othello neighborhood on Thursday morning, police said.

Officers were called after a woman reported seeing the man trying to place the body in recycle and trash bins in her backyard, according to a friend of the witness. The man left when the woman called out to ask him what he was doing, the friend said.

When police arrived they found the body, which they said looked like a “pile of clothes with feet sticking out,” according to the affidavit.

The victim was identified Tuesday as Daryl M. Ford. Police released the homeless man’s name and photograph in the hope that someone could provide more information about him, where he camped and the places he frequented.

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Ford died of multiple stab wounds.

The documents found in the cart connected the suspect with an 18-unit housing complex operated by Sound Mental Health a few blocks from where the body was found.

Police said staff at the residential complex on South Kenyon Street said the suspect had not been seen for several days, the affidavit said.

Trish Blanchard, chief clinical officer for Sound Mental Health, said she could not answer questions about the suspect or confirm whether he lived at the apartment complex, but she said the staff at Kenyon House provides mental-health and behavioral support to residents and it is not uncommon for staff to have daily contact with tenants.

According to police, the suspect also left his fingerprints on the cart and matched the physical description provided by the witness.

Court documents indicate the suspect has a criminal history that includes convictions for drug offenses, theft, assault and disorderly conduct.

Earlier this year, the suspect was convicted of taking a motor vehicle without permission and was sentenced to serve eight months on electronic home detention, King County Superior Court documents say.

He was fitted with an ankle monitoring device at a King County detention facility on May 19. Court records say he was supposed to return home and set up the monitoring hardware, but he failed to do so.

His caseworker reported him missing the next day and on May 21, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest, according to court documents.

Anyone with information about Ford is asked to call the homicide tip line at 206-233-5000.

Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this story.

Christine Clarridge:

206-464-8983 or cclarridge@seattletimes.com.



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