Fatal Kidnapping Victim’s Husband Now Says They Didn’t Know Suspect
Despite reports to the contrary, the husband of fatal kidnapping victim Sandra Harris of Kennewick told a local TV station Wednesday he and his wife did not know suspect Theresa Wiltse.
Wiltse, who has been formally charged with murder and other crimes in the kidnapping and death of the 69-year-old woman, was arraigned in court on the charges Wednesday. The cause of death is now listed as homicide.
Randy Harris, owner of Ace Jewelry and Loan, told KNDU-TV he and his wife did not know the 49-year-old suspect and former corrections officer, and he believes she acted alone in the crime. He did not speak on camera, and doesn't have any more to say, but indicated he will at a later time. It is not known where the reports came from that Wiltse was "known" to the Harris'.
Wiltse is charged with kidnapping Harris from her Kennewick home a week ago Friday. During a brief cellphone call to her husband, a money drop was set up near the Country Mercantile late Friday night, for $250,000. Wiltse was promptly arrested, but no information was given if she divulged the location of Harris or other information.
A week ago Sunday, Harris' body was found on Coffin Road south of Kennewick, just off I-82. A coroner autopsy says she died of gunshot wounds, there were several on her body. A rental car driven by Wiltse had blood in the back seat, a gun and ammunition.
The investigation continues. Authorities said they are not actively searching for other suspects but have not ruled them out besides Wiltse. Court and other records indicate the Connell and former Tri-City resident was a corrections officer in Walla Walla at the state pen until 2010, and had a history of previous financial problems.