A Pierce County sheriff’s deputy doing a routine sex offender address check found two people dead inside their Frederickson home Sunday and arrested a third roommate in connection to the deaths.
The deputy found the bodies sometime around 8:30 a.m., when he arrived to find the door to the home open in the 7700 block of 200th Street East.
Information about how the pair died and who they were wasn’t available Sunday evening, but sheriff’s spokesman Jerry Bates said detectives were investigating the deaths as homicides.
The men found dead were ages 20 and 66, and the man arrested later in the day by Tacoma police is 40.
The three lived together at the home, but it wasn’t clear whether they were related.
Bates couldn’t confirm whether the sex offender registered at the home was one of the dead or the man arrested. Officials have not released the names of the deceased, he said.
The suspect in the deaths was arrested when Tacoma police detained four persons of interest about 3 p.m. near South 96th Street and Pacific Avenue South, in a vehicle associated with the home where the bodies were found.
The Sheriff’s Department had asked other agencies to be on the lookout for the vehicle.
Of the four, only the 40-year-old was booked into jail, and Bates said investigators weren’t looking for anyone else in connection to the deaths.
The address of the home is not listed in Pierce County’s online registry of sex offenders, which Bates said by default likely means the person living there is a Level 1 offender, those least likely to reoffend.
Sex offenders are required to register their address with the county, and law enforcement is tasked with periodically verifying whether an offender still lives there. That means checking on them one to four times a year, per state law, depending on an offender’s level.
Deputies initially noticed suspicious wiring connected to an outbuilding at the Frederickson home that they thought might be a “booby trap or hazardous device,” Bates said.
But after the agency’s hazardous device squad determined the home was safe, investigators said the wires might have been part of an old marijuana grow operation.
Investigators kept members of the media from walking past the home Sunday as detectives worked.
Joe Bell, who has lived in a nearby neighborhood for about a year, said he knows the people on his street, but not across 78th Avenue East, where the bodies were found.
He and other neighbors said they hadn’t been notified that a sex offender registered in the area.
Authorities don’t generally hand out fliers notifying communities of nearby Level 1 offenders, but will do so for those who are more likely to reoffend.