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July 24, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Charges: South Park man killed mother, stepfather with ax

A 45-year-old man has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of his mother and stepfather on Saturday in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood.

Richard Parenteau Jr., 45, is being held in the King County Jail in lieu of $5 million bail. His arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 6.

Parenteau had been involuntarily committed for mental-health issues several times over the past 1½ years and had made a number of documented threats to kill family members, police and neighbors, according to the probable-cause statement outlining the police case against him.

Just before 6:30 a.m. Saturday, a pedestrian called 911 to report finding a body near Eighth Avenue South and South Portland Street on the Duwamish Waterway, the statement says. Police identified the man as Parenteau’s stepfather, David Wells, 69, according to the statement.

Based on the injuries to his head, detectives determined that he’d been killed elsewhere, and crime-scene investigators found a blood trail that extended “just two short blocks,” the statement says.

After identifying Wells, detectives went to his house in the 700 block of South Southern Street, which is five blocks south of where the body was found, the statement says. Detectives obtained a search warrant and found Parenteau inside the house, the statement says.

While detectives were serving the search warrant, a second person called 911 to report finding a woman’s body under the First Avenue South bridge, according to the statement. It was determined the body was that of Linda Parenteau, 70, the mother of the suspect.

According to charging documents, the victims were killed with an ax.

A neighbor who lives in the apartment complex next to the yellow bungalow on South Southern Street where Parenteau lived with his mother and stepfather told The Seattle Times that Parenteau would often scream obscenities, talk jibberish to himself and throw punches in the air.

Patty Engrissei, who has lived in an apartment next door to Wells and Linda Parenteau for a decade, said a SWAT team had been called to the house at least three times in the past two years.

“He was like a ticking time bomb,” she said of Parenteau.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: homicide, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office

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