A 47-year-old man was arrested last week after deputies discovered his roommate’s body in a trailer two days after they conducted a welfare check on the suspect’s daughter.
According to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, on Monday, Oct. 23, deputies were sent to a residence on the 13500 block of 8th Avenue East because officials from Child Protective Services were unable to conduct a check on a 6-year-old girl who lived there. The child’s father, the suspect, reportedly locked his own father out of the house and would not answer the door when CPS officials came by. The suspect was identified as Casey Christianson.
The sheriff’s department said Christianson’s father went by the house with deputies, and Christianson allegedly assaulted him in front of law enforcement. He was quickly arrested on charges of fourth-degree assault, resisting arrest, and third-degree assault.
Christianson’s 6-year-old daughter reportedly told investigators he “had strangled his friend.”
On Oct. 25, two days after the initial call, deputies went back to the address regarding a death investigation because a man reported his roommate was dead inside of his trailer. The suspect’s father reportedly went to the trailer to check on the roommate and found 37-year-old Richard Cooley dead.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said deputies “had no reason to go into the trailer the day of the first incident.”
The Tacoma News Tribune, which cites court documents, reports first responders noticed “weird marks” on Cooley’s neck and discovered a chain and medallion nearby. Investigators reportedly believe Cooley was killed elsewhere and brought to Christianson’s trailer.
Christianson was additionally charged with two counts of second-degree murder. His bond was set at $1.5 million for the murder charges and $25,000 for the assault ones.
According to the Tacoma News Tribune, Christianson was previously convicted of first-degree rape of a child, and investigators were allegedly worried about his daughter’s safety.
This disturbing case in Washington highlights the challenges faced by law enforcement and Child Protective Services when ensuring the safety of children in potentially dangerous situations. The incident underscores the importance of conducting thorough welfare checks and investigations to protect vulnerable individuals, especially in cases where prior criminal history raises concerns about a child’s well-being.