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Questions, grief linger on fifth anniversary of hikers’ killings

Two women were killed while hiking near Pinnacle Lake and there are still few answers.

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By Eric Stevick
Herald Writer
Published:
  • Mary Cooper

    Mary Cooper

  • Susanna Stodden hiking on the Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier in 2004.

    Susanna Stodden hiking on the Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier in 2004.

Five years later, David Stodden still hikes the remote trail where his wife and daughter were killed.
The Seattle man continues to make periodic trips to Granite Falls to post fliers seeking information that could lead to an arrest.
He pulls invasive weeds from the ground and plants native vegetation in a park where his daughter once worked.
All the while, he wonders if the day will come when someone is held accountable.
"I'm hoping it will be solved here soon," Stodden said. "Detectives are still looking for tips. Somebody has got to know something."
Mary Cooper, 56, and Susanna Stodden, 27, were fatally shot and left deep in the woods along a hiking trail near Pinnacle Lake on Mount Pilchuck. Monday marks the fifth anniversary of their killings.
Late last week, Stodden was contemplating hiking the same trail again to mark the sad anniversary. Friends and family are planning a walk around Seattle's Green Lake on Monday evening.
Stodden said it's disappointing the investigation has not resulted in an arrest.
He's not the only one eager for a break in the case.
"It is frustrating to us that this case has not yet been solved, and we know it is so painful for their family and friends," Snohomish County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Rebecca Hover said. "We look forward to the day we can announce we have made an arrest. Until then, we will not give up hope, just as we have never given up hope on other unsolved homicides in our county."
The file remains with one of the original detectives assigned to the case and is actively being pursued, Hover said.
Snohomish County sheriff's detectives included the killings in the state's first deck of cold-case playing cards. Cooper and Stodden are featured together on the ace of hearts.
More than 3,000 decks have been handed out in the state's jails and prisons in hopes of soliciting new leads in unsolved homicides and missing persons cases dating back to the 1970s. Inmates are offered a reward for information that leads police to arrests.
The cards are used in an effort to draw out clues to old, unsolved killings, even though the June 2006 double homicide isn't considered a cold case, officials said.
Stodden hopes a $25,000 reward also will lead to the killer.
The sheriff's office is well aware of Monday's anniversary.
"Mary and Susanna are never far from our thoughts, nor are their family and friends," Hover added.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, stevick@heraldnet.com


In memory of
A walk around Seattle's Green Lake in memory of Susanna Stodden and Mary Cooper is scheduled for 8 p.m. Monday. The mother and daughter were killed July 11, 2006, while hiking on the Pinnacle Lake Trail on Mount Pilchuck.
The public is invited to join family and friends in walking around the lake. Meet at Green Lake Community Center, 7201 E. Green Lake Drive N., Seattle.
Tips wanted
The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office asks anyone who may have information about the killings of Susanna Stodden and Mary Cooper to call the sheriff's tip line at 425-388-3845.
Story tags » Granite FallsPoliceHomicideVerlot

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