Get a custom Q13 forecast and severe weather alerts in your inbox

Murder suspect John Reed once threatened to kill FEMA workers, ex-security guard says

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ARLINGTON, Wash. -- Detectives on Wednesday went through the Ellensburg home of the parents of John and Tony Reed, accused of killing a missing Arlington couple.

The fugitive brothers on Tuesday were each charged in Snohomish County Superior Court with two counts of first-degree murder in the case of Patrick Shunn and his wife, Monique Patenaude.  Investigators say the Reed brothers may be trying to flee into Mexico.

Eadie Hamberlin said she saw John Reed's quick temper firsthand when she was working as a contract security officer for FEMA workers after the 2014 Oso mudslide that occurred near Reed's property.

She said Reed was angry because he couldn’t get past the mud on his driveway to get to his home.

“He turned towards me and he was mad; he said he was going to run his truck through the tent and kill these people,” Hamberlin said.

When FEMA workers assured him they had deposited money into his account, Reed immediately changed his demeanor, she said.

“This is where this guy was dangerous; he was a 13-year-old kid getting what he wanted, his attitude changed,” Hamberlin said.

Snohomish County investigators on Wednesday were going over every inch of the badly damaged Jeep and Land Rover vehicles that belonged to the Arlington couple. The vehicles were found pushed down an embankment in a remote, wooded area near Oso. In court documents, investigators said they found "significant blood evidence" in the cargo areas of the two vehicles.

Neighbors told investigators that Patrick and Monique were afraid of their neighbor John Reed and said he had threatened to shoot them in the past over property complaints.

The property dispute surprised Margaret Hedlund, a neighbor who considered herself a surrogate mother to Monique. She aid that during the landslide, Patrick and Monique risked their lives to check on John Reed.

“They are running through fish jumping in their pasture because of the water rushing up into the land. It had fish in it and they risked everything just to run down and see if he was OK. To think that he took their lives is almost uncomprehendable (sic),” Hedlund said.

But detectives say all the evidence points to the Reeds as having killed the couple on the victims’ property and then used the couple’s vehicles to transport their bodies, which have yet to be found.

“It’s kind of like tearing off a Band-Aid on a wound for a lot of people,” Hamberlin said.

As the search continues for the couple’s remains, Hamberlin said the tragedy is causing heartache for a community that has already gone through so much.

Soon after the FEMA incident, Snohomish County condemned and bought the property from Reed, which reportedly angered him. Sometime before the couple’s disappearance, Monique complained to the county that Reed was squatting on his former property.

 

 

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.