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Alex Baranyi Jr. and David Anderson
On Jan. 4, 1997, two boys were playing in a park in Bellevue, Wash., an upscale suburb east of Seattle, when they spotted what they thought was a pile of clothes concealed by shrubs about five feet off a trail. When the boys returned to the park the next morning they soon realized what they had seen was a body. They ran home; one of their mothers called the Bellevue Police Department.
by Gary Boynton
At 11:30 a.m., Bellevue detectives responded to the scene, where they found the body of a young woman, dressed in blue jeans, a white T-shirt and "waffle-stomper" boots. Although she did not appear disheveled, as if she had been involved in a struggle, there was a cord wrapped around her neck, with which she obviously had been strangled.
Identification on the body indicated that the victim was Kimberly Wilson, age 20, and that she lived only a few blocks from the park.
After securing and processing the crime scene, Det. Jeff Gomes, an investigator from the King County Medical Examiner's Office, and Senior Prosecutor Patti Eakes proceeded to the victim's home. Gomes, although he'd been a cop for 23 years, was dreading informing Wilson's family of her death as he knocked on the front door of the white, two-story, wood-frame house.
Even though there were three cars parked in front, and the outside Christmas lights were on, the inside of the house appeared dark. When no one answered, Gomes went to a sliding-glass door on the side of the house. Finding it unlocked, he opened it, leaned into the house and called out. Again receiving no reply, Gomes drew his gun and stepped inside.