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UPDATED: One arrested after body found in East Side trash bin

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on Sep. 8, 2011 at 7:31 am |
September 8, 2011 1:57 pm

UPDATED as of 1:15 p.m.

Tacoma police have arrested one man after the body of a teenager was found Wednesday afternoon in a garbage bin on the East Side.

Investigators booked the 20-year-old Tacoma man into Pierce County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder shortly after 1:15 a.m. today. He’s not expected to make his first court appearance until Friday.

Residents told officers that a neighbor had asked to use their trash can to throw away a dead body. Witnesses later looked in the bin and found the body.

The witnesses left the area and ran into members of the Tacoma police gang unit, who were on an unrelated call a half-mile to mile away, police spokesman Mark Fulghum said. The reason for the delay in reporting the dead body wasn’t immediately known.

Members of the gang unit confirmed the body was in the garbage bin in the 500 block of East 36th Street and determined that the victim had “obvious trauma,” police reported.

Officers spotted the man coming out of the triplex and took him into custody.

The victim has been identified as a 16-year-old boy from Tacoma. However, his name has not yet been released because his family has not been notified, the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office reports.

An autopsy conducted today revealed the teen died of a gunshot wound to the head.

Detectives suspect the victim and 20-year-old man know each other. The man provided detectives with several versions of what happened throughout the night, Fulghum said.

Detectives believe the victim was killed inside the man’s home.

“As far as we know, no one else was home at the time,” Fulghum said.

Detectives will be comparing the suspect’s stories to the evidence at the crime scene to determine what happened.

The man was charged in January with residential burglary, malicious mischief and theft.

According to charging documents, he and some friends left school, smoked marijuana and then broke into an apartment of a woman he knew. The suspects stole jewelry, electronics, DVDs and CDs.

The man was released on his own recognizance after his arraignment on the burglary charges. As part of that case, the man was ordered to go to Western State Hospital for a mental health evaluation.

He’s scheduled to have a competency hearing in that case next month.

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