Suspect arrested in connection with murder and kidnapping of Washington state couple

THURSTON COUNTY, WA - On Friday, November 17th, the Thurston County Sheriff's Office (TCSO) announced its arrest of a man they say is connected to the murder and kidnapping of a couple that had been reported missing since November 10th. 

County sheriff's were asked to conduct a welfare check on Karen Koep and her husband Davido after they didn't show up for work on Monday, November 13th. According to NBC News the couple are believed to have been killed as the sheriff's office does not believe the couple survived an attack at their home in Lacey, Washington.

When deputies arrived at the home, the couple and their car were gone. TCSO deputies worked hand-in-hand with local, state and federal officers to gather evidence needed to identify a suspect in the couple's disappearance. Based of the evidence collected, sheriff's deputies were able to identify that suspect; a man in his 40s from Olympia, Washington, just east of where the couple lived.

The man's identity has not yet been released, but he was arrested on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of kidnapping. According to the sheriff's office, the suspect was known to the couple and is described as a man in his 40s from Olympia and was reportedly one of "multiple tenants." 

Both Karen and Davido were reported missing on Monday, November 13th, after Karen did not show up to work. She works as a chiropractor and was well-known in the area. Karen's sister, Pauline Dutton, said that when neither Karen nor Davido could be reached, the police were called.

At first, the sheriff's office said that the couple "disappeared under suspicious circumstance," but did not provide additional details. However, the couple's car, a 2015 silver Toyota Yaris, was later found on a street in Lacey. 

On Thursday, November 16th, the day before an arrest was made, Dutton said that she didn't believe the couple left their home willingly. She said that she last spoke to her sister via text message on November 10th and believes that was the last day anyone had heard from Karen and Davido. 

The suspect is being held at Thurston County Jail. In their press release, TCSO said, "Throughout the investigation, we have been in contact with the family of the missing couple, and sadly, we do not believe the couple survived the attack at their residence."

Dutton said that her family was and still is in "complete shock," and have no idea what happened. The couple was scheduled to visit her in Oregon during Thanksgiving week. She said that her sister is "the strongest woman you'll ever meet in your life."

Dutton added, "She is probably selfless to a fault. She doesn't have the time to take care of herself sometimes because she's always giving to others." When speaking with NBC News, Dutton said that she does not think Karen nor Davido would leave their home without telling anyone.

She said, "I know that they didn't walk away from their house on their own, let's put it that way. They didn't just walk out of there. They're not in Bora Bora having a vacation. They are missing and I don't think they went willingly."

The investigation remains ongoing and as more information becomes available, it will be released to the public. In the meantime, anyone with any information is urged to contact TCSO by email at detectives@co.thurston.wa.us or through dispatch at 360-704-2740.
 
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