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‘They didn’t deserve to die this way’: Daughter of couple found dead in northeastern Washington reflects on their legacy

Married couple Dave and Geralyn Covey were found dead Wednesday on their property in Chesaw, Wash. The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a person of interest who reportedly fled the scene.  (Courtesy of Debbie Springer)
Married couple Dave and Geralyn Covey were found dead Wednesday on their property in Chesaw, Wash. The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a person of interest who reportedly fled the scene. (Courtesy of Debbie Springer)

There were a few instances early last week that told Debbie Springer something terrible happened to her father and stepmother.

Dave Covey, 80, and Geralyn Covey, 66, were found dead Wednesday on their property in Chesaw, Washington, near the Canadian border. The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the suspected double homicide.

Springer said the Coveys left their Omak residence the morning of Feb. 13 with their three dogs to visit their property on the ninth mile of Nealy Road in Chesaw. One of the dogs was found alive on their property on Sunday.

“When the dog was found by their truck, that was the indication that something was really wrong,” said Springer, who noted the couple would never leave their dogs. The other two dogs were found alive on the couple’s property on Wednesday.

On Tuesday morning, Springer said she visited the Coveys’ Omak residence and knocked on the door, but there was no answer. She said she didn’t hear their dogs bark, which they always do.

“I knew then that, absolutely, there is something wrong,” Springer said. “They would have called.”

Springer said she, members of her family and deputies searched their Chesaw property later that day.

“When we were up there on Tuesday all day and there was no sign of them, I pretty much knew that they were gone,” Springer said.

Volunteers, drones and off-road vehicles scoured the property Wednesday, according to a sheriff’s office news release. Deputies located the Coveys’ bodies around 5:45 p.m.

Springer said she was devastated when the sheriff’s office told her they had been found.

She said she believes a confrontation escalated to the killings because the Coveys’ shed was broken into on their property.

“They were so giving,” Springer said. “They didn’t deserve to die this way. There was just no reason for it. Sure, there’s confrontations and people get angry, but to kill someone, not just one, but two people, it’s unfathomable, really.”

Twice while searching the property, a person of interest was seen by deputies but ran both times, according to the sheriff’s office.

Springer said the Coveys were well-known in the region because of their professions and longtime residency. Dave Covey was born and raised in Omak and Geralyn Covey came from Dickinson, North Dakota, she said.

She said Geralyn Covey, or “Jer,” as she was commonly called, worked at Washington Tractor for many years, and Dave Covey worked at the Okanogan County maintenance shop.

Springer said she met Geralyn Covey at Washington Tractor and introduced her to her father. They were married around 25 years, she said.

Springer said her father, a mechanic, always worked on cars and raced them. She said he once repaired a car and gave it to his friend who needed one.

“That’s just how they were,” she said. “They would help anybody. And that’s what I want them to be remembered for, is all their hard work and how they were so giving.”

Springer said people will also remember them for their humor.

“They loved a good joke,” she said.

Springer said a son of Geralyn Covey’s is taking care of the three dogs, one of which has a broken leg.

The sheriff’s office said Thursday the person who fled the property is believed to be armed and dangerous, and that he was last seen wearing an older green camouflage jacket and dark pants.

It said in a news release Friday there are too many unanswered questions to focus on a specific individual or release any information on a person or persons of interest.

Anyone with relevant information, photos or video footage is asked to call the sheriff’s office at (509) 422-7232, option 4.

The sheriff’s office is working with the Okanogan County Coroner’s Office to determine the manner of deaths through an autopsy

“I think they’ll find him and hopefully bring him to justice,” Springer said.

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