A 62-year-old landlord has been charged with the killing of a teen couple in Seattle.
Michael Lee Dudley was charged with two counts of second-degree murder and is being held on $5million bail, the Seattle Times reported.
Back in June 2020, a group of teens documented the moment when they found Jessica Lewis and Austin Wenner’s dismembered bodies in suitcases and uploaded the videos in TikTok.
The families of the victims have confirmed that the couple had been renting a room in Dudley’s home on Ambaum Boulevard in Burien.
The court documents stated that Dudley’s exact motive for the murder has not been confirmed. However, prosecutors believe that the landlord was angry with Wenner over unpaid rent and ‘for bringing potential criminal activity to the Ambaum home.’
Family members told the police that Lewis and Wenner had recently been attacked and beaten by a group of men who showed up at Dudley’s home carrying guns.
According to a witness, she moved into Dudley’s home on June 9 last year, the same day the medical examiner believes that the couple was killed.
The witness said while Dudley helped her move her belongings in, she noticed his eyeglasses were broken and his face scratched.
After she took a shower, she opened the door to her new bedroom and saw “heaps of clothing” on the floor and a hand sticking out from underneath, the police report reads.
The witness said Dudley told her that night that he needed to “clean up the mess”, and asked if he could take her somewhere else first. As they were leaving, the witness saw the 62-year-old laying out large sheets of plastic in the basement.
“Let’s put it this way, his gun misfired and mine didn’t,” Dudley told the witness.
When the detectives obtained a search warrant, they went to the Ambaum home and found bullet holes, spent casings, and blood inside the victim’s room.
Neighbors told the detectives that they had called 911 on June 9 after hearing gunfire and yelling.
The officers had responded that night, however, they “left the residence a short time later when nobody answered the door.”
When interrogated about the murder, Dudley denied any involvement, but “could not explain the bullets or the bullet holes.”