Crime

University Place lawyer wanted for questioning in death of woman who appears to be his wife

A University Place lawyer who was charged with first-degree theft earlier this year now is wanted for questioning by police in the death of woman records indicate was his wife.

The body of Elaine Mansfield, 55, was found Saturday in a hotel room in the 8800 block of South Hosmer Street, according to police and the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office.

It’s not clear how the woman died. Police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said there was not an obvious cause of death, and investigators expect it will be weeks before they know more.

Police have information that Donald Mansfield, 71, had been at the location where the body was found, but Cool declined to provide further details.

A marriage certificate posted in the Washington State Archives online indicates he wed a woman by the same name in 1989. What appears to be her Facebook page shows photos of the two together.

Relatives last spoke to Donald Mansfield on Thursday, and his whereabouts are unknown, police said in a news release. He is believed to be driving a silver 2009 Acura TL four-door with Washington license plate 607-YSS.

In August, Mansfield was charged with first-degree theft for allegedly stealing at least $6,300 from a client’s settlement in a personal-injury case.

He pleaded not guilty Oct. 6 and was released on his own recognizance, court records show. Mansfield was ordered to appear in court Thursday for a pre-trial hearing but failed to show up, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Mansfield’s law license also is temporarily suspended, apparently for failing to comply with mandatory continuing legal education requirements.

Mansfield is thought to have serious health problems.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call 911.

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