King Salmon Man Arrested in 26-Year-Old Murder
Witnesses had been afraid to come forward
ALASKA - A 53-year-old King Salmon man has been arrested for a nearly three-decade-old murder.
Sheriff's deputies in Washington State say they knew all along the two men who had shot and killed an elderly couple.
But, as Seattle KIRO7 television station’s Chris Legeros reports, witnesses were afraid to come forward.
53-year-old Rick Riffe was arrested at his home near King Salmon, Alaska Sunday, accused of kidnapping and killing an elderly Lewis County couple more than 26 years ago.
"For me personally this is a bittersweet moment, tempered with great satisfaction and great sadness," said Lewis County Sheriff Steve Mansfield.
Ed Maurin was 81 years old, his wife, Minnie, 83, when they were taken from their home just before Christmas. They were forced to drive to their bank and withdraw $8,500 in cash, then shot in their car, their bodies dumped in the woods seven miles west of Chehalis.
"We have known for over two decades that Rick and John Riffe were responsible for the murders of the Maurins," Sheriff Mansfield said.
Deputies had evidence, but apparently not enough to arrest and prosecute until now. Court documents reveal that just last February one witness identified Rick Riffe and his brother John actually riding with the Maurins in their car. It was information he held back because the Riffes allegedly threatened both him and his mother.
"People should never give up home, there is always hope out there," said Dennis Hadaller.
The Maurins' were Dennis Hadaller's parents. He has thought of them four or five times a day, every day since their death and even hired a couple of private investigators to help sheriff's deputies catch the killers.
"At their funeral, I laid my hand on their casket and I said, ‘we'll find out who did this,’" Hadaller said.
Sheriff's deputies say they were planning to arrest John Riffe, too, but he died of natural causes about a month ago.