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Body of kidnap victim Sandra Harris found in rural Benton County

Tri-City Herald

Kidnapping suspect Theresa Wiltse appears in Benton County Superior Court

Kidnapping suspect Theresa Wiltse makes her preliminary appearance before Judge Cameron Mitchell in Benton County Superior Court on Nov. 21, in Kennewick. Wiltse was arrested on Nov. 18 when she tried to collect ransom in the abduction of Sandra H
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Kidnapping suspect Theresa Wiltse makes her preliminary appearance before Judge Cameron Mitchell in Benton County Superior Court on Nov. 21, in Kennewick. Wiltse was arrested on Nov. 18 when she tried to collect ransom in the abduction of Sandra H

The body of kidnap victim Sandra Harris, 69, of Kennewick has been discovered along a rural Benton County road south of Kennewick.

A passing motorist spotted her body just before noon, about 48 hours after her abduction, in the brush off Coffin Road about two miles east of Interstate 82.

The Benton County Coroner’s Office confirmed the woman is Harris but an autopsy is planned Tuesday to figure out when and how she died, said a release from the Kennewick Police Department.

“Investigators have much work to do yet and the details that explain ‘why’ this happened will come forth in court proceedings,” said a Kennewick police release.

“It is important to remind the public that this was not a random act,” said the release. “The suspect we have in custody, Theresa Wiltse, was known to Sandra Harris and her husband Randy Harris. The exact nature of how they are known to each other is still a part of this investigation.”

Investigators have not ruled out the possibility Wiltse may have an accomplice. “We’re trying not to eliminate any possibilities, said Sgt. Ken Lattin.

“We are not ruling out the possibility that there could be another person or persons involved but we do not have any specific persons that we are looking for,” said the release.

Randy Harris reported his wife was taken against her will shortly before noon Friday from her Kennewick home on the 200 block of East 41st Place.

A ransom was demanded and officials arranged a rural county exchange. Wiltse, 49, of Connell, was arrested about 10 p.m. that night, but was the only person in a rental car with California license plates.

Randy Harris operates a pawn shop called Ace Jewelry & Loan on West Entiat Avenue in downtown Kennewick.

Employees at the pawn shop on Monday declined to talk about the case but wanted to thank the police and the public for their prayers and concerns.

Wiltse is being held in the Benton County jail in Kennewick on investigation of kidnapping. Prosecutors have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to charge her.

This developing news story will be updated.

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