Man, woman arrested on murder charges in case of Cashmere man who vanished 34 years ago

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WENATCHEE, Wash. — A 60-year-old Sultan man and a 57-year-old Leavenworth woman have been arrested for the alleged murder of a Cashmere resident who disappeared 34 years ago, the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office said.

Detectives last Friday arrested Bernard Swaim, 60, of Sultan, in connection with the disappearance of Cashmere resident Stephen E. Smith in 1982. Swaim was charged with first-degree murder, the sheriff’s office said.

Then on Sunday, the sheriff’s office said, detectives arrested a 57-year-old Leavenworth woman on the same charge. It’s unclear if she has been formally charged, so Q13 News is not naming her at this time.

The sheriff’s office said the woman and Smith were once married and had a child. They ultimately divorced and, as part of the divorce settlement, Smith was granted full custody and the woman was granted supervised visitation only.

She later married Swaim and they moved to Western Washington, the sheriff’s office said.

“On or just before July 12, 1982, (the woman) and Mr. Swaim traveled from Western Washington to Cashmere with a plan and intent to murder Mr. Smith,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release. “The investigation showed (the woman) and Mr. Swaim planned to get Mr. Smith intoxicated to the point he passed out, and then Mr. Swaim would murder Mr. Smith.”

Smith and/or his remains have never been found.