The troubles of the Stewart-Sampels family came into sharper focus today as more details of this double-homicide-suicide incident have been revealed by police.
Today, regional media is reporting that the Washington State Patrol has determined that David Stewart, 38, who had shot himself as troopers approached his stopped vehicle on I-5, had also shot his wife Kristy Sampels moments before they confronted him. Ms. Sampels died in an ambulance shortly after being rescued from Stewart’s vehicle.
In addition, The News Tribune is reporting that the couple’s five year-old son, Jordan, died of asphyxiation, and had been dead for at least 24 hours before police discovered him in his bedroom at the family home on 178th St Ct E in Spanaway. Police arrived at the Stewart’s residence Tuesday, several hours after the shooting on I-5.
KOMO TV is reporting that authorities have announced the boy’s body was found with bruises and a plastic bag over its head, and believe that he may have been abused.
Further, Krista Carlson, Director of Communications for the Bethel School District, said that Jordan had been enrolled in the nearby Camas Prairie Elementary School kindergarten class last September, and “was in the system for three or four days, but did not attend any classes and had been withdrawn.”
Carlson said that the couple’s daughter, age 10, who has been found safe at her biological father’s home in Oregon, has never been a student in the BSD.
Neighbors confirmed that they held a candlelight vigial at the Stewart-Sampels’ home last evening, even though, apparently, no one knew them well.
“They sure were quiet,” one neighbor told The Mountain News, today. “They just kept to themselves.”
Nevetheless, the neighbors left flowers and momentos, and even though their memories may be few, their notes clearly state the Stewart-Sampels family will not be forgotten.