Special Reports

Suspect’s former landlords thought girl was his daughter

Terapon Dang Adhahn’s former Spanaway landlords considered him a quiet, decent tenant and an attentive father. And they thought the young girl living with him was his daughter.

Now Adhahn, 43, stands accused of repeatedly raping the girl during the years they lived together.

“I’m pretty street smart,” said Harry Hokold, who was Adhahn’s landlord from 2000 to 2003. “But he fooled us. And in hindsight, you can see it all over the place.”

Adhahn was booked into the Pierce County Jail on Wednesday for investigation of nearly 60 crimes, including 50 counts of third-degree child rape involving the girl. He was to be arraigned today.

He also is suspected in the abduction and slaying of 12-year-old Zina Linnik of Tacoma. She was taken from an alley near her family’s home July 4 and later found dead in East Pierce County.

The girl who says she lived with Adhahn is now 19 and living in Kansas, where an FBI investigator interviewed her last week.

According to court documents, the young woman accused the Thai immigrant and U.S. Army veteran of raping her 150 to 200 times.

The owners of two rental properties where Adhahn lived during the period said they did not know he was a convicted sex offender.

Both Hokold and Wendy Wentz, Adhahn’s landlord from 2003-2005, said they knew he was living with a teenage girl. Both believed she was his daughter.

“Sometimes she would come over and pay me their rent,” Wentz said. “She was really quiet, but one of my sons was the same way with older people.”

Harry and ToCha Hokold live across the alley from the one-story rental house where Adhahn and the girl stayed. The Hokolds thought Adhahn a model tenant. The way he treated his “daughter,” however, they found strange.

“He would do anything for her,” ToCha said. “One word and she’d get it. Clothes – she’d get it. Computer – she’d get it. Her room was like a princess’ bedroom. He’d get her anything.”

When the girl turned 16, ToCha said, Adhahn bought her a new car – black with a big dragon decal. Yet, the Hokolds recalled, she rarely seemed happy.

“She was almost too quiet,” Harry said. “No mom, no sisters, so she’d talk to my wife.”

The girl, who attended Spanaway Junior High School, would sometimes come across the alley frustrated and upset, they said.

“His daughter came over once in a while, after she and her dad had been in an argument,” ToCha Hokold said, referring to Adhahn. “She’d talk to me while I was gardening. But she was a very private girl.”

The girl told the Hokolds that her father was angry with her and that he wouldn’t speak to her for as long as a week at a time.

“His daughter he kept under key,” said Harry Hokold, who called Adhahn “Tee.” “No boyfriends or anything.”

The sexual assaults, the girl told Tacoma police, occurred at a duplex owned by Wentz and her husband on Spanaway Loop Road.

The Hokolds’ rental, where Adhahn lived previously, is located just south of Spanaway Lake.

“He got a tow truck and I asked him nicely not to keep it here,” Harry Hokold said. “He pulled up and moved out in a couple of days.”

“She seemed 13 going on 40,” ToCha Hokold said of the girl.

Dan Beekman: 253-597-8876