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$5M bail set for suspect in 1986 killing of Tacoma girl

TACOMA – A judge has set bail at $5 million for a 66-year-old man suspected of killing a 12-year-old girl in Tacoma more than three decades ago.

The News Tribune reported Gary Hartman appeared in Pierce County Superior Court Thursday where prosecutors argued for a high bond, saying he could be a flight risk because of his assets.

Prosecutors are expected to charge Hartman on Friday in connection with the death of Michella Welch in 1986. She was abducted from a Tacoma park and found dead later that day.

Welch’s sister, Nicole Eby, told KING-TV that detectives told the family the suspect had been tracked down through a DNA match.

Hartman was arrested Wednesday in Lakewood and booked into the jail on investigation of first-degree murder.

It wasn’t immediately known if Hartman has an attorney.


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