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Former state prison guard charged with kidnapping, murder of Kennewick woman

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KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) — A former Washington state corrections officer has been charged with killing a 69-year Kennewick woman who was found dead two days after she was abducted for ransom.

The Tri-City Herald says (https://goo.gl/UkelWH ) prosecutors filed first-degree murder and kidnapping charges Wednesday against 49-year-old Theresa Wiltse, of Connell. She remains in the Benton County jail on $1 million bail.

Court documents say a gun and ammunition found in Wiltse’s rental car when she tried to collect a $250,000 ransom were consistent with ammunition found by Harris’ body.

Police say Harris was kidnapped last Friday from her Kennewick home. Police tailed and arrested Wiltse after she got the ransom at a gourmet grocery store that night.

Harris’ body was found last Sunday along a rural road near Kennewick. Prosecutors say she was shot several times.

A message left after hours with Wiltse’ lawyer, Sam Swanberg, was not immediately returned.