Police investigators at the scene of Saturday’s grisly find (Image: CHS)
Chief Kathleen O’Toole announced the murder arrest Monday evening. (Image: CHS)
Seattle Police have arrested a 37-year-old man for homicide in connection with body parts that were found in a Central District sicycling bin Saturday afternoon. John Robert Charlton of Snohomish County was arrested Monday morning and booked into the King County Jail.
Although SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole declined to identify the victim, she said evidence was clear that the remains belonged to a woman who was reported missing in Renton that evening. Ingrid Lyne, a Swedish Medical Center nurse and mother of three, was reported missing after going on a date that included attending a Mariners game on Friday, according to friends who have posted about the 40-year-old woman’s disappearance on social media.
“We have no reason to believe that there is any question as to the vicim’s identity,” O’Toole said. “We’re very confident the victim is the one that has been identified in the media.”
UPDATE (4/13): King County Medical Examiners positively identified Lyne as the victim in the case on Wednesday.
UPDATE (4/12): Charlton made his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon, where King County prosecutors said they believe he murdered Lyne in her Renton home and transferred her body in her car to Seattle. Bits of human flesh were found in Lyne’s bathtub along with a pruning saw, according to probable cause documents filed in court by SPD Tuesday.
The judge found probable cause to keep Charlton in jail and set bail at $2 million. Charlton stood still and remained silent during the brief hearing.
According to the probable cause documents, the Central District homeowner discovered the body parts after emptying his bin which he thought was unusually heavy. After he called 911, investigators found a human head, an arm, part of a leg, and a foot. Since the face was intact, investigators were able to match it with Lyne’s photograph. The garbage bags used to wrap the remains matched an emptied box of bags at Lyne’s home, according to detectives.
A neighbor later told investigators that Lyne had been dating a man named John and that she was going to the Mariners game with him on Friday. Police found a ticket to the game on her computer.
The documents also shed light on what transpired in the day after Lyne’s disappearance. On Saturday, Lyne’s ex-husband arrived at Lyne’s house with their three daughters — ages 12, 10, and 7 — and found Lyne’s wallet and keys, but not Lyne. He called Lyne’s mother, who came to the house where she found Charlton’s number on Lyne’s phone and began texting him to ask about her daughter’s whereabouts. Charlton acknowledged the two were dating, but stopped responding after this text:
After his arrest, Charlton told police he and Lyne returned to her house but that he was too drunk to remember what happened afterwards. He said Lyne likely drove him back to Seattle, where he slept on a sidewalk. Detectives observed abrasions to his face and scratches to his hand and chest.
Charlton’s criminal history stretching back to 1998 includes violent crimes committed in multiple states.
Ingrid Lyne (Image via Facebook)
King County Medical Examiners will make the final determination on the victim’s identity.
Investigators used forensic evidence, including a photograph, call records, and cell tower information to connect to the missing woman in Renton to the body parts found in the Central District, according to SPD. Police converged on Lyne’s Renton home early Sunday, the Seattle Times reported.
SPD did not provide any details on where the alleged homicide may have taken place. Assistant Chief Robert Merner said the recycling bin appeared to be a “dumping location” for the remains and that there were no other known connections to the Central District. Continue reading