24 murders remain unsolved in area

By Kristin M. Kraemer, Herald staff writer October 30, 2011 

Thirty-five years after Carole Tyler was stabbed to death inside her Kennewick workplace, her killer has yet to be found.

Hers is one of 24 unsolved homicides that have stumped Mid-Columbia detectives during the years. Though a cold case might no longer be considered active, it remains open in the hope that new evidence will come to light and solve the mystery.

The following list is compiled from Kennewick, Pasco, Richland and Benton and Franklin county law enforcement agencies.

-- June 13, 1960: Edna Wight, on her 51st birthday, was in her Harris Street home in Richland when she was stabbed 35 times in the chest and neck and suffered a broken neck. She was the wife of Richland's assistant fire chief.

-- Dec. 2, 1971: Ivah McDonnell, 60, found beaten and strangled with her own pajama bottoms in her West Sylvester Street home in Pasco.

-- June 20, 1972: Viola D'Amico, 64, died from a bullet to the chest during an apparent burglary at her Pasco cottage.

-- Nov. 28, 1975: Shannon M. Varley, 20, found in a pond north of Hermiston. She had been shot. Believed abducted Aug. 8, 1975, from Columbia Park in Kennewick.

-- April 11, 1977: Diane C. Merckx, 20, found buried in a shallow grave in Sacajawea Park near Pasco. Likely strangled. Believed abducted July 15, 1975, from Columbia Park.

-- June 1, 1981: Raymond L. Varela, 61, transient stabbed several times at the railroad yards about two blocks from Pasco's Amtrak depot.

-- Nov. 2, 1983: Susan J. Burnham, 27, found dead of blunt force trauma near the Vernita Bridge rest stop.

-- Nov. 13, 1986: Stanley V. Peterson, 24, shot dead in a pickup on Interstate 82, about a half-mile west of Gap Road near Prosser.

-- Feb. 25, 1986: Robert J. McDonald, 40, was tied up and bludgeoned and found floating face down in the Pasco Boat Basin.

-- April 13, 1987: Edward Gene "Eddie" Davis, 29, shot 13 times with two different guns in the Big Pasco Industrial Park.

-- July 25, 1987: Tracy Lynn Smith, 21, found near the base of a water reservoir west of the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco. Stabbed about 25 times in her chest and back and on the top of her head.

-- Oct. 31, 1990: Jesus J. Cardenas, 34, dead of gunshot wounds at Lenzie Road and Highway 221 in south Benton County.

-- Nov. 16, 1990: David M. Gonzalez, 44, fatally shot in the driveway of a Rankin Road home in Prosser. Police had been called about a fight in the area.

-- Jan. 4, 1991: Francisco Olalde, 29, died of injuries to his neck and upper chest when he was run over by two trains. Found on a track at the railroad switching yard off North Fourth Avenue in Pasco.

-- Feb. 6, 1991: Ernesto Hernandez, 31, had his skull crushed after being hit repeatedly by a large concrete block. Found outside a Pasco potato warehouse.

-- Nov. 8, 1994: Evelyn F. Beagle, 72, died after being bound and gagged by two robbers in her Pasco bedroom. Husband George C. Beagle was able to escape his bindings and get help.

-- April 21, 1995: Avel Ayala Garcia shot to death at Langford and Sheffield roads near Basin City. Last seen alive in Connell.

-- Dec. 29, 1997: Anna Y. Pelayo, 13, found shot in the head on the edge of Taylor Flats Road, north of Interstate 182 in Franklin County. Last seen alive in Pasco the previous night.

-- April 9, 1997: Pedro Mendoza Garcia, 50, found in a field off Clark Street dead from repeated blows to the head. Also known in Pasco as Arnold Cassio.

-- Sept. 22, 2000: Juan Guzman Zuniga, 39, complained of stomach pain and collapsed while at a Pasco detoxification center. Died 11 days later of a ruptured spleen from a robbery.

-- Feb. 10, 2001: Cassandra Ray, 51, found bludgeoned to death in her Kennewick apartment. She had been dead for several days.

-- May 22, 2002: Gregorio M. Lopez, 50, shot dead in the driveway of his East George Street home in Pasco.

-- July 27, 2010: Juan A. Segoviano- Garcia, 30, shot in the chest and his body badly burned in a Finley orchard belonging to Washington Fruit and Produce.

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