Wahid Kashify was arrested on Oct. 29 in Europe where he is currently being held, the sheriff’s office said.
It could be a year or more before Kashify arrives in the United States, depending on whether or not he fights the extradition process, Detective Marc Melville said Monday during a news conference.
Kashify will stand trial for a first-degree murder charge when he does arrive, the sheriff’s office said.
Arezu Kashify, who was 24 at the time of her death, was last seen alive on May 26, 2019, at a friend’s house, according to the sheriff’s office initial report. Her friend later reported her missing on May 30. Her remains were discovered June 4 in a false bottom of a chest freezer in the apartment just north of the North Division Y that she shared with her husband and their two children . Wahid Kashify is said to have dropped their two children, ages 5 and 1, off with a friend on May 26 after midnight.
Deputies located his vehicle on June 1 at the Spokane airport, where he purchased a one-way ticket out of the country. Deputies located a letter inside his vehicle, giving instructions to unlock his phone and watch a video confession.
“He admitted to the homicide, he gave a full confession as to why he did it, and it’s very telling,” Melville said of the video, which has not been released to the public. “I think he felt he was going to get away with it and live free, just not in the United States.”
The federal Department of Homeland Security determined that Kashify left from the Spokane International Airport for Dubai and ultimately arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan, on May 30.
Kashify was scheduled to become a U.S. citizen the day after his wife’s body was discovered, Melville said.
Afghanistan is a nonextradition country, which posed one of the biggest challenges to the sheriff’s office, Melville said. Kashify also had extended family living in the country, he said, as well as connections from his time serving as a translator for the U.S. military.
Melville said the international investigation into Kashify’s whereabouts began the same day that deputies discovered his wife’s body. An FBI agent working in Afghanistan immediately got to work on the case after learning that Kashify may have fled back to his home country, he said.
“During that process, we were able to determine he had multiple different aliases, he had got a new passport and a new name,” Melville said, “and using all that information we were able to get a ‘red notice,’ which is a worldwide extradition warrant.”
Kashify is said to have traveled between Iran and Afghanistan, and then to Turkey and finally to Europe, where he was arrested.
Kashify, who was an avid volleyball player, had plans to attend a volleyball tournament in Europe on Oct. 29. That’s when authorities located him leaving a men’s locker room and arrested him, the sheriff’s office said. The sheriff’s office did not say in which country Kashify was being held because his extradition is still pending a hearing there.
Kashify’s two children are said to be “safe and happy” together at a permanent residence in Washington state, Melville said.
“For 16 years you’ve heard me say this. If you commit a crime in Spokane County, we’re gonna do everything we can to bring you to justice,” Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said at Monday’s news conference.
The investigation was completed in cooperation with the FBI, Defense Department , Justice Department and other federal agencies, as well as Interpol, the sheriff’s office said.
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