Authorities allege a Stevens County woman and her two sons are connected to the death of the woman’s husband, who was found buried under the couple’s shed with a gunshot wound to his head.
Brenda Rasmussen, 55, and her two sons, Danny Jones, 34, and Andrew Jones, 31, were arrested Tuesday in Fort Mohave, Arizona, on suspicion of first-degree rendering criminal assistance relating to the death of Jerry Rasmussen, 65, according to a Stevens County Sheriff’s Office news release.
The sheriff’s office said Brenda Rasmussen reported her husband missing Sept. 27. She told deputies Jerry Rasmussen left their residence in the area of the unincorporated town of Valley several weeks prior and had not been heard from. She said they had been arguing recently, he left on his own and had been known to leave and be gone for extended periods.
The release said deputies became suspicious after speaking with Brenda Rasmussen and other family members and requested the case be looked into further by detectives, who began an investigation into Jerry Rasmussen’s disappearance.
Detectives identified Brenda Rasmussen and her two sons as persons of interest during the investigation and started treating the investigation as a possible homicide, deputies said. Danny Jones had resided at the Valley residence and Andrew Jones had an address in Bullhead City, Arizona.
Detectives executed a search warrant Nov. 12 of the Valley home. Cadaver dogs reportedly smelled human remains coming from the area of a new storage shed on the property, the release said. Brenda Rasmussen and Danny Jones had since vacated the home.
On Dec. 7, the sheriff’s office used a shed transport company and an excavator to search the area beneath the shed, where human remains later identified as Jerry Rasmussen were discovered. An autopsy ruled the cause of death as a gunshot wound to the head.
The sheriff’s office, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office worked together to locate and arrest the three suspects, deputies said.
They were booked into the Mohave County Jail.
All three suspects will be extradited to Washington. The investigation is ongoing.
Jerry Rasmussen’s death is the second believed to be connected to family members recently in rural northeastern Washington.
Jacob Mitchell, 28, was arrested Sunday after he called police to say he killed his mother, Carolyn Thompson-Mitchell, 64, at a home in the 100 block of South Fea Avenue in Newport, the Newport Police Department reported in a news release.
Mitchell was booked in the Pend Oreille County Jail on suspicion of second-degree murder.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.