SEATTLE – The Seattle home of three elderly brothers charged with collecting a hoard of child porn is under investigation.
Court documents reveal the home “can only be described as a substantial hoarder home,” that detectives said was “difficult to walk through as every square inch was covered with items.”
Retired Pierce County homicide detective Ben Benson said hoarder homes are some of the most difficult to investigate. Typically, you see one person living in hoarding conditions, he said, but to find three is rare.
“You don’t very often see multiple people in a household like that,” said Benson.
King County property documents show the property is 2,500 square feet. It is listed as two stories, with a basement. In court documents, detectives estimate the Emery brothers’ alleged child porn collection to have taken a “lifetime to accumulate.”
Given those conditions, Benson said, investigators will be taxed, physically and emotionally.
“You’re going in there with protective gear on, masks, breathing apparatus and it’s 90 degrees outside and you’re wading your way through garbage, sometimes looking for pieces of trace evidence or looking for things you don’t even know you’re looking for until you find it,” he said.
So far, investigators have uncovered hundreds of images, writings and newspaper clippings that detail the kidnapping, rape, torture and murder of young girls. Court documents reveal they have also found children’s shoes and clothing, including underwear.
“Based on the age of these three offenders, this didn’t just start with them last year or in the last 10 years. This has been going on for decades,” said retired FBI detective David Gomez. “Serial sexual offenders tend to keep souvenirs, some kind of memento from their victim and their crimes that allow them to relive the crime over time later on.”
Although the Emery brothers are only charged with collecting child porn, Gomez said what detectives found points to other crimes.
“Clothing, dresses, underwear, something that will remind them of that specific victim so they can relive that crime in their mind,” said Gomez.
Investigators are searching a second home owned by the Emery brothers in Shelton.