OLYMPIA, Wash. – Bail was set Friday at $2 million for James Stidd, who is accused of killing missing 60-year-old Lacey grandmother Gail Doyle.
The Thurston County Superior Court judge said of the allegations against Stidd, "Horrific is an understatement."
Stidd's arraignment on charges of second-degree murder and unlawful possession of a weapon is set for June 21. Stidd is a felon and cannot legally possess firearms.
Doyle disappeared June 2, after witnesses reported she and Stidd had gotten into a verbal argument at a tavern in Olympia, and she has yet to be found.
Stidd, 66, became a suspect after law enforcement searched his home in unincorporated Thurston County earlier this week. In court documents, police said they found evidence of blood and blood spatter in his residence and garage. In the garage, a hammer was found on a work bench and it had several visible blond hairs wrapped around the head of the hammer, which also had blood evidence on it. Blood evidence was also believed found on the handle of what was believed to be a buzz saw, but the saw was missing.
Authorities said Stidd had purchased a pressure washer on June 4 and that it appeared it was used to clean areas of the floor of of his garage. Authorities also said that Stidd recently dropped off two black plastic bags at the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center site.
Stidd was arrested after he was found driving on I-90 in Eastern Washington late Wednesday. He was arrested and returned to Thurston County Thursday.
Friday was his first appearance in court.
Police said both Stidd and Doyle were last seen arguing at the Boulevard Tavern in Olympia last Thursday night, June 2. Doyle told police previously that he and Doyle had continued arguing while driving from the tavern and that she asked to be let out of his car. He said he stopped and let her out of the car near the Aztec Lanes bowling alley and hasn't seen her since.
Both of Stidd’s relatives told Q13 News they worry he could have done something terrible.
“From past history, he would always have at least one weapon in his vehicle, one on his person, and God knows, how many anywhere else,” said Brown.
Stannard added, “He’s said that, ‘I can make someone disappear and you would never know. I can hide bodies in trunks and nobody would figure it out.’ It’s scary things.”
Police searched Stidd’s Olympia home on Wednesday night and allegedly found evidence against him.
“The evidence that we found at his residence strongly suggests that he’s responsible for her disappearance,” said Sgt. Lynn Carter with the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.
A Washington State Patrol trooper spotted Stidd's car traveling along I-90 near Ritzville on Wednesday. Police brought him back to Thurston County Thursday morning.
Police said Stidd isn’t providing detectives with any information about Doyle's whereabouts during their investigation.
“I’m praying for the families, the Doyles,” said Stannard. “I’m also praying for my family that we can say OK this is wrong and whatever he did he needs to stand for.”
Stidd is no stranger to law enforcement, having multiple convictions for assault.