Two men were arrested Wednesday for allegedly hiding the body of a Graham woman they found while burglarizing her house, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said Friday.
The men, ages 57 and 46, are expected to be charged Monday.
Investigators believe the 63-year-old woman recently died of natural causes while unloading horse feed from her truck in her driveway in the 13000 block of Kapowsin Highway East.
Her horse, found dead on the property Wednesday, apparently died of starvation and exposure.
The two men allegedly went to the home to break in at some point after the woman died, stumbled across her body and removed it.
“Instead of running away or making an anonymous phone call, they took the body away and wrapped it up and hid it on their property under a bale of hay,” sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
The woman’s co-workers reported her missing June 20, Troyer said. Several days passed, and one of the men allegedly began using the woman’s identity and credit cards.
One of the woman’s banks notified detectives of fraudulent activity, and detectives linked the two men to the case.
A search dog found the woman’s body in the 5700 block of 328th Street East in Eatonville. That property is owned by one of the men who were arrested.
Detectives believe the burglary took place before the missing-person report was filed, Troyer said. They also believe, based on accounts from the two men, that the house was targeted at random and the men were not involved in the woman’s death.
“It’s a bizarre story with a lot of moving pieces,” Troyer said. “We’re still looking for some other people, and we’re still working it.”
Staff writer Sean Robinson contributed to this report.