Police seek clues to 2005 murder

Relates to:
Date: 2008-06-01
Source: Hearld Net

BOTHELL -- The house was home to violence.

Douglas "Skip" Erlandson was bludgeoned to death in his Bothell house. More than a decade earlier, inside those same walls, his daughter, Kayla, 2, was tortured and killed.

His wife was sent to prison for the toddler's murder. Police have yet to arrest anyone for Erlandson's 2005 death.

The killing is among those featured in the state's first cold-case playing cards. Snohomish County sheriff's detectives handed out the cards to jail inmates on Wednesday in hopes of soliciting tips about unsolved homicide and missing person cases dating back to the 1970s.

Erlandson is on the seven of diamonds. His homicide is the newest case assigned to the sheriff's cold case team.

"Since it's a newer case there might be more people in jail with information than an older case," sheriff's detective Jim Scharf said.

Erlandson, 60, was battered with a blunt object. He never regained consciousness and died Dec. 17, 2005.

His son, Shea Erlandson, told police he came downstairs to find his father covered in blood and seated in a living room chair, court records said. He left the house and called 911.

Police later announced the slain man's ex-wife, Noreen Erlandson, had been ruled out as a suspect. The couple divorced in 2002. The former nurse spent about 12 years behind bars for Kayla's death. She was released in 2004 after a state Supreme Court ruling called in to question dozens of murder convictions across the state. Noreen Erlandson was set free after pleading guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and receiving credit for time already served.

Shea Erlandson, 21, moved out of the house where his father and sister were beaten to death. He bought a new house last year. A short time later, a Kirkland man was shot to death while attending a Halloween party Shea Erlandson was hosting in his new home. An Ellensburg man is awaiting trial in the shooting. Police don't believe the slayings are connected.

"There's a lot of violence surrounding that family," Scharf said.

Reporter Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463 or hefley@heraldnet.com.


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