Seattle police have arrested a 51-year-old Snohomish County man suspected of murdering a Navy veteran at a North Seattle senior independent-living facility last year.
Police say that DNA evidence found inside victim Francis “Patrick” Fleming’s home led them to the Snohomish County man. The suspect was arrested by Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies yesterday at the request of Seattle police. The man was booked into the King County Jail for investigation of homicide.
On Friday, a King County District Court judge ordered the suspect held in lieu of $1 million bail. Prosecutors have until Tuesday to file criminal charges, said Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecutor’s Office.
Fleming, 70, served 20 years in the Navy, and was twice awarded the Purple Heart for injuries he received while serving in Vietnam, police said. After his years in the Navy, Fleming returned home and worked as a security officer, and built up an extensive collection of rare coins, which he was fond of showing off to his friends.
On Dec. 8, Fleming was found dead in his ransacked apartment. The veteran is believed to have been tortured and his neck was slashed, police said.
After Fleming was found slain, detectives discovered that his coin collection was missing, police said.
Virginia Merceri, administrator at Four Freedoms House, let out a cheer this morning when she heard an arrest had been made. She said that Fleming was “a good resident,” someone well-liked by many.
Merceri said that the slaying left many residents fearful.
“This is going to be a big relief to the residents.”