Slaying victim was beaten, not shot

Relates to:
Date: 2006-04-20

Slaying victim was beaten, not shot

Police seek information in the December death of a Bothell man

By Diana Hefley
HeraldNet April 20, 2006

BOTHELL - The ex-husband of a convicted killer was beaten to death, according to a search warrant made public on Wednesday.

Everett detectives continue to search for whoever killed Douglas Erlandson on Dec. 16.

"We have no named suspects at this time," Everett Lt. Ted Olafson said. "It remains an active investigation. There are leads which are being explored and will be explored by the case detective."

Erlandson, 60, died after being found unconscious and bleeding in the home where Noreen Erlandson beat the couple's daughter to death more than a decade ago.

Douglas Erlandson's son, then 18, told police he came downstairs to find his father covered in blood and seated in a living room chair, according to a search warrant filed in Cascade District Court.

He told investigators he called out to his father and, when he didn't answer, went upstairs to get a sweat shirt and left. He told investigators he was scared to stay in the house and called 911 while driving toward a grocery store, according to court documents.

The extent of the Bothell man's injuries and evidence at the scene initially led police to believe he had been shot in the head twice and possibly tied up, according to court records.

Snohomish County Medical Examiner Norman Thiersch reached a different conclusion. He told investigators that Erlandson wasn't bound and had died of blunt force trauma from numerous blows, according to a search warrant.

Detectives searched the Bothell home a couple of times, seizing computers, furniture, blood samples and other evidence.

"There are items of evidence at the crime lab, and we are awaiting forensics reports, which may give us additional clues," Olafson said.

About two weeks after Douglas Erlandson died, Everett police announced that his ex-wife, Noreen Erlandson, was no longer a suspect in the case.

The former Bothell nurse, 53, passed a polygraph test, and examination of the evidence led police to eliminate her as a suspect, police said.

Noreen Erlandson was convicted of second-degree murder in 1991 and served about 12 years in prison for the child's death. She was freed from prison in December 2004 after pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter. Her release came after state Supreme Court rulings invalidated dozens of murder convictions across the state.

The couple divorced in 2002.

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