Federal Way police believe four unsolved homicides from last year were committed by the same person, who is in custody on an unrelated charge.
Three three killings took place in 48 hours in May 2016, including that of Northeast Tacoma resident Adam Gutierrez on May 10.
Detectives said they are certain they know who killed Gutierrez, and they believe the same suspect killed 26-year-old Alex Kelley of Seattle and 27-year-old Frank Cohens of Tacoma in separate shootings in Federal Way the day before.
Investigators say they believe the same suspect, who they declined to identify, also killed Jeffrey McLaren, 19, in Federal Way five weeks earlier.
Never miss a local story.
McLaren was involved in a fatal shooting earlier that year.
According to a search warrant, he fatally shot Dylan Lee Oman, 18, in Tacoma in January 2016 after Oman had tried to shoot McLaren in an “ambush-style attack.”
McLaren fired first; Pierce County prosecutors determined he acted in self-defense and he was not charged.
In the deaths of McLaren and the others, detectives say the suspect is jailed on unrelated charges. They said they need more information to file four murder charges.
Gutierrez widow, Marianne, on Wednesday visited the memorial on the spot where her husband was killed by a person who at detectives believe was a complete stranger to him.
“It doesn’t feel like one year has gone by,” she said.
Marianne Gutierrez is left with questions of why and who shot her husband while he jogged on a sidewalk with his dog, wearing a reflective vest. Gutierrez’s parents say a sense of justice would go a long way to help their healing.
“I just have a lot of questions that I need answers to,” Heidi Gutierrez said concerning the death of her son. “I haven’t got any answers. And every day that I don’t get them, it just becomes a little harder every day.”
Javier Gutierrez, Adam Guiterrez’s father, asked anyone with information about the killings to come forward.
“He was doing it everything right, and it still didn’t matter,” Javier Gutierrez said. “He always wanted to be a Husky. That was one of his dreams. So he got his dream, and the (suspect) took it away from him.”
Private donations and Crime Stoppers are offering a $16,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in Gutierrez’s murder, and $1,000 is being offered for information on each of the other three cases.
“That’s all we ask, is justice for our son,” Javier Gutierrez said.
If you have information regarding the Federal Way killings, anonymous tips can be directed to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or at safecityfw.com.