Benton City homicide victim's body to be released

October 22, 2013 

The family of stabbing victim Michael Edwards will soon be able to bury their loved one.

Benton County prosecutors authorized the release of his body Friday, and it will be transferred from the Benton County Coroner’s Office to Hillcrest Memorial Center in Kennewick on Wednesday, Benton County Coroner John Hansens said.

Edwards, 55, was killed Sept. 8 in Benton City. He lived there, but had family in the Yakima area.

Prosecutors have said the delay, which family members protested, was necessary because defense attorneys for those accused in the killing had not completed an examination.

Noah M. Matlack, 18, and Noel A. Gonzalez, 19, both of Benton City, have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges in the case. Their bail is set at $1 million each. Tyler Lynn Isom, 19, of Benton City is charged with first-degree rendering criminal assistance and possession of a stolen gun. Isom allegedly let the teens stay at his home after the killing and kept a stolen .22-caliber Luger semi-automatic pistol.

The family’s fight to claim the body was featured last week in a Tri-City Herald report.

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