The 30-year-old Newcastle man alleged to have stabbed a Bellevue woman to death inside her downtown apartment on March 31 has been extradited from California and booked into jail in King County. Song Wang is scheduled for arraignment at 8:30 a.m. April 30 in King County Superior Court. His bail is set at $5 million.
The 30-year-old Newcastle man alleged to have stabbed a woman to death inside her Bellevue apartment before setting it on fire and then fleeing the state has been charged with one count each of first-degree murder and arson in King County Superior Court.
Firefighters found the body of 37-year-old Kittaporn Saosawatsri inside a sixth-floor apartment unit at the Avalon Meydenbauer on Bellevue Way around 9 p.m. March 31, with around 10 stab wounds to her back and a “large gash to her neck,” according to a police probable cause report; she was positioned with her face down on the mattress, her body leaning against the bed. A small pile of clothes were found smoldering in the bedroom closet. The King County Medical Examiner’s Office later confirmed 20 stab wounds to Saosawatsri’s upper torso.
A man who shared the lease with Saosawatsri told police he had helped the Thai national acquire the one-bedroom rental, which she used for prostitution, using backpage.com to find clients, according to the police report. According to charging documents, police found Saosawatsri’s Thailand passport, $1,200 cash and a Washington driver’s license hidden under her fridge.
Police identified Wang as a homicide suspect on Saturday night, and reported he’d last been seen in Oregon. According to court documents, Wang’s phone number was the last recorded on Saosawatsri’s phone, and was also tied to a number of calls to a Portland pawn shop. An employee at the pawn shop confirmed Wang had tried to pawn a Louis Vuitton purse and matching wallet on April 1, according to documents, and Wang was also caught on surveillance cameras entering and leaving the Avalon Meydenbauer the night of the murder. The King County Prosecutor’s Office alleges the murder occurred during an attempt to rob Saosawatsri and the fire was to cover up the crime scene. Documents state it appears Wang ransacked the apartment before leaving.
Small claims filed against Wang in King County District Court the day before and the day of the homicide indicate the 30-year-old murder suspect owed several people thousands of dollars, one complaint stating he impersonated another person to make off with the plaintiff’s money.
The U.S. Marshals Service arrested Wang around midnight Tuesday while he was sleeping inside a car at the Grass Lake Rest Area on Highway 97 in Siskiyou County, Calif., near the Oregon border. A California highway worker recognized Wang and called authorities. The Marshals Service was joined by members of the Siskiyou Sheriff’s Office and California Highway Patrol in arresting Wang.
Bail for Wang was set at $5 million on Tuesday, and the Newcastle resident is still awaiting extradition from California. The prosecutor’s office said Wang was an obvious flight risk.
The Bellevue Police Department on Monday used local media to call on homicide and arson suspect Song Wang to turn himself in for the March 31 killing of an Avalon Meydenbauer resident in downtown Bellevue, the woman’s body found in an apartment unit that had been set on fire.
Firefighters found the body of a woman in her 30s inside one of the downtown apartment units around 9 p.m. March 31, having responded to an active sprinkler alarm inside the complex. Water damage in a fifth-floor unit led them to an apartment on the sixth, where a small fire and the woman’s body were found.
The BPD named Wang, 30, as a suspect in the homicide and arson case late Saturday night, after detectives returned to the area around the apartment complex on Bellevue Way with about 60 members of King County Search and Rescue that morning, the search lasting several hours and expanding to Main Street.
Bellevue Police Ofc. Seth Tyler confirmed Monday Wang was last seen in Oregon on Saturday, the Portland Police Bureau stating it was within its city. He used media to make a statement to Wang, asking him to turn himself in.
“We don’t want anyone else to get hurt. We will find you,” he said, adding Wang should be considered armed and dangerous. “He could really be armed with anything, at this point.”
Police are still trying to determine the relationship between Wang and his alleged victim, whom Tyler confirmed lived at the Avalon Meydenbauer apartment, but would not confirm as the leaseholder. Tyler said he would not confirm other reports that the victim may have been involved in a 2013 sex trafficking investigation in Bellevue, and that anything from the woman’s past would be withheld as part of the BPD’s active investigation.
Not much about the case will be revealed while authorities continue their active manhunt, Tyler said, adding police did have enough probable cause to suspect Wang and be issued a warrant for his arrest.
“I think the evidence we have is strong and (Wang) will be brought to justice,” said new Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett during a Monday media conference ahead of his swearing-in ceremony. He added the U.S. Marshals Service and other agencies are also aiding the Bellevue Police Department.
Small claims filed against Wang in King County District Court the day before and the day of the homicide indicate the 30-year-old homicide suspect owed several people thousands of dollars, one complaint stating he impersonated another person to make off with the plaintiff’s money.