Dog walker finds naked woman stomped to death in underbrush, Washington cops say

Authorities have made an arrest in the gruesome killing of a woman found naked and beaten outside Everett, Washington, last weekend.

A person discovered the woman’s body outdoors Saturday in an unincorporated area south of the city, and deputies responded to the spot around 9:20 a.m., the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post. Authorities called the death “suspicious in nature,” and the Seattle Times reported the body was found “in a bushy area near Highway 99.”

The suspect, a 30-year-old man, was arrested on first-degree murder charges at his Everett home around 11 a.m. on Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Friday.

KOMO reported that after a dog walker came upon the body, “an investigation found that the woman had been shoved into some thorny underbrush that tore her skin, her clothing was ripped off and she had been stomped so violently in the head, face and abdomen that the distinctive shoe tread of her killer was embedded in her skin.”

KOMO identified the murder suspect as Jamel Lewis Alexander. Deputies said that after an interview he was booked at the Snohomish County Jail without incident.

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The suspect, who has a long criminal record in California and beyond, was caught on surveillance camera video nearby and his hat was found at the crime scene — and while he admitted to meeting up with the woman for sex, KOMO reports that he “denied killing her, claiming that she was alive and well when he left her, according to the court file.”

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and prosecutors did not immediately respond to McClatchy news group’s request for comment on the investigation. KOMO reported that a judge set Alexander’s bail at $2 million on Friday.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the woman on Friday as Shawna L. Brune, 29, of Everett, and said she died of blunt force injuries, KIRO reports.

A man who lives at an apartment complex near where the body was found said he was relieved the arrest had been made.

“This has been driving us nuts for the last couple of days because we haven’t really been getting a whole lot of information on it,“ Schuylar Thorpe told KIRO, describing the wooded area as “a pretty nice place to go exploring and just taking a walk — but it’s the last place you would want to find a body.”

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.