UPDATE: Montana Man Charged With Murder in 1996 Kirkland Cold Case

The King County Prosecutor's Office on Tuesday charged 59-year-old Clifford Everell Reed with the murder of Sandi Rae Johnson, a 28-year-old mother of two who disappeared after leaving her Kirkland-area home.


UPDATE, Nov. 5, 10 a.m.: The King County Prosecutor's office on Tuesday charged 59-year-old Clifford Everell Reed with second-degree murder in the 1996 killing of Sandi Rae Johnson of Kirkland. Reed was arrested on Monday in Victor, MT, by cold case detectives with the King County Sheriff’s Office. Johnson disappeared in 1996 after leaving her Kingsgate area home to meet a friend in Bellevue, and her bones were found eight years later along Highway 410 near Greenwater, outside of Enumclaw, WA. Reed and Johnson were co-workers at the time of her disappearance. Reed remains in custody in Montana, and prosecutors are awaiting his extradition. They have asked that bail be set at $5 million.


Original story:


OUTSIDE SEATTLE, WA -- A 59-year-old Montana man was arrested Monday by detectives from the local county sheriff’s office cold case unit on suspicion of murdering a 28-year-old woman who disappeared in 1996.

The King County Sheriff’s Office would not say what evidence allowed it to make the arrest, or provide the name of the suspect, who is from Victor, MT. But he was a co-worker of Sandi Rae Johnson of Kirkland, a mother of two who disappeared after leaving her home on April 26, 1996, on her way to the Bellevue Square Mall in her Ford Escort.

“This is a case our cold case unit had been working on, and they had some good leads,” said Deputy Charlie Akers, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.

According to media reports in the past, police had arrested in 1997 a 43-year-old man in the case, but released him because Johnson’s body had not been found. He subsequently moved to Montana.

Within days Johnson's car was found in Burien and her purse found in a Rainier Valley parking lot. But her remains were not discovered until eight years later, when her bones were found by a Washington State Department of Transportation worker along Highway 410 near Greenwater, outside of Enumclaw.

Johnson lived in the Kingsate area at the time, which was then in unincorporated King County. Neighbors remember yellow ribbons placed in front of the house for months after her disappearance. She was reported missing when she failed to pick up her two children from daycare.

Akers said the suspect would be extradited to King County, likely in the next couple of days, unless he fights extradition.

In a press release, newly elected King County Sheriff John Urquhart said: “This proves what can be done with a dedicated cold case unit that follows-up on leads and conducts thorough investigations. The Sheriff’s Office remains committed to finding ways to seek justice in murder cases, no matter how much time has passed.”

steve bailey December 05, 2012 at 04:28 AM
hope they found the right maniac poor children waiting on mom thats never gonna return
Exterminan The Destroyer December 05, 2012 at 05:19 AM
If you notice, 16 years ago they held a 43 year old man. Now they arrested a 59 year old man. Do the math.
korey weiss December 05, 2012 at 07:11 AM
my exact thoughts mr bailey
Justice Served December 06, 2012 at 06:57 AM
That was my friend and a be loved Mother of 2 childen that grew up without a Mom! Murdered on her Sons 5th Birthday! It took 8 years for some closure when they found her remains. At least the Police were finally able to arrest the guy they thought it was all along. Try imagine she was your Sister.
dexterjibs December 06, 2012 at 07:53 AM
If he is the right guy, I hope he gets the death penalty


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