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Arlington mother, daughter found dead; family member arrested

ARLINGTON — A mother and her adult daughter were found dead this weekend. The son and brother of the women is now accused of murder.

Arlington HomicideDavid Thorsen, 50, is being held at the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of second-degree murder in the death of his sister, who was found dead Sunday, but now investigators are taking a look at the death of Thorsen’s mother, who was found at the bottom of a staircase in the home Saturday.

Her death was thought to have been accidental, but with the death of the sister, investigators are taking a closer look.

Family friends say it is all a big mystery.

What happened in the house on 240th Street Northeast in Arlington? And how did two women end up dead?

Police were called to the house Sunday after the son of Thorsen’s sister reported his mother missing.

He found her car on property belonging to his grandmother (Thorsen’s mother, who died the day before), but his mom was nowhere to be found.

“When he looked in the back of his mother’s car, there were liquor bottles. His mom didn’t drink that kind of liquor so that made him concerned. He also noticed that the seat had been pushed back. His mother was fairly small so it was like a larger person had been driving the car, so just a lot of things didn’t seem right to him,” Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Shari Ireton said.

Investigators later found the body of Thorsen’s sister a short distance from the house.

“Did a search of the property and at that point found the body of a female out in the field near the property covered by a blanket. Looked like she was the victim of homicide,” Ireton said.

Police say Thorsen refused to talk to investigators.

That led them to take a closer look at a death in the house Saturday in which Thorsen’s mother apparently fell down a flight of stairs.

Although her death initially appeared accidental, police now wonder if she too was murdered and whether Thorsen was involved.

“I knew the son. I knew the sister and I knew the mother and so I don’t think that he was involved in the mother`s death,” close family friend Elizabeth Bennett said.

Bennett says there was bad blood in the family and drinking made it worse.

Plus, there was apparent tension over Thorsen’s deceased father’s will and how property would be divided.

Still, Bennett says she believes Thorsen’s mother’s death was more than likely just an accident.

“She had a hard time getting around. One of her arms, she couldn’t get past hip height, so I told her to stay off the stairs, but she liked to do stuff.  She was always moving around cleaning stuff. She was probably trying to switch laundry, which was down stairs. That would hugely surprise me if he was involved in that,” Bennett said.

The older of the two women has been identified as 80-year-old Betty Thorsen; her daughter is the younger victim. He name has not yet been released.

Police have been at the house for the past two days trying to determine the sequence of events that led to the deaths of two women and tore a family apart.

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