Authorities in Washington state who discovered two bodies on a military base believe the remains belong to a local couple who have been missing since last month.
“Sadly, we believe Davido and Karen Koep have been located based on the preliminary investigation,” the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release Saturday.
Davido, 68, and Karen Koep, 62, who lived in Thurston County, were last seen alive on Nov. 10. Deputies carried out a welfare check at the couple’s home on Nov. 13 and reported there was reason to believe they were attacked and killed at the residence, previous press releases from the sheriff’s office show.
Authorities arrested a suspect last month who was only identified as an Olympian man in his 40s who was “known” to the couple. That man was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping. The suspect reportedly rented a home from the couple and killed them when he found out he might get evicted, The Seattle Times reported, citing prosecutors.
The bodies have not been positively identified as Davido and Koep, but Sheriff Derek Sanders said investigators are “reasonably certain” the bodies belong to the missing couple. The coroner’s officer is currently working to confirm their identities and cause of death.
Deputies found the remains after receiving a 911 call of a body on Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s property Saturday morning. Authorities located the first body before discovering a second body shortly after.
The suspect lived close to the military base, according to court documents, and the bodies were found less than half a mile from the residence. Sanders said the remains were not concealed.
“We are hopeful this is one step in the right direction for the families and friends of Karen and Davido and everyone who was impacted by them, that they will have some sort of closure with this case as we move forward,” Sanders said during a press conference Saturday.
The couple’s son, Justice Dutton, told local outlet Kind 5 that he’s grateful for law enforcement’s dedication to finding his parents.
“In particular, we would like to thank the Thurston County Sherriff’s Office and assisting agencies for being unwavering in their search for our parents. We have the utmost faith that the Thurston County Prosecuting Attorneys will bring the person(s) responsible to justice,” Dutton told the outlet.