The remains of a couple from Washington state, who disappeared last month under suspicious circumstances, were found on a military base on Saturday, according to local law enforcement. The couple, identified as Davido and Karen Koep, were believed to have been abducted and killed by their tenant, who was reportedly unhappy with them.
The Thurston County Sheriff’s deputies were called to a property owned by Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Saturday afternoon following the discovery of a body by individuals riding all-terrain vehicles in the area. During the subsequent investigation, a second body was found by the deputies and the military base police.
Sheriff Derek Sanders expressed his condolences, stating that preliminary investigations suggest the bodies are those of the missing couple, both in their 60s, who had not been heard from in nearly three weeks.
Pauline Dutton, Karen Koep’s younger sister, expressed a combination of shock and relief upon hearing the news. She described her initial reaction as a “punch to the gut,” but also expressed gratitude that the couple had been found, allowing the family to stop worrying and arrange a proper burial and memorial.
The bodies were found less than half a mile from the house rented by the couple’s tenant, Timothy Burke. Burke, 45, was arrested last month and charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping in connection with the couple’s disappearance. He was reportedly on the brink of eviction when he allegedly shot the couple in their Lacey home.
According to court documents, Burke allegedly moved the bodies to the garage, leaving a trail of blood, loaded them into the couple’s car, and drove away to dispose of them. He was arrested four days later near a hiking trail.
Burke made his first court appearance on November 20 and was held without bail, as prosecutors argued he posed a flight risk and a danger to the community.
While the motive for the double homicide remains unclear, Dutton suggested it might have been triggered by Burke’s impending eviction and his apparent mental instability. She revealed that Burke had exchanged emails with Davido and seemed increasingly delusional, even accusing Davido of poisoning the property’s water.
Karen Koep, 63, was a respected chiropractor in her community. She and her 68-year-old husband leave behind two sons.