SEATTLE - Two people accused of killing a 70-year-old Navy veteran to steal his coin collection appeared for arraignment on murder charges Thursday morning.
The body of Patrick Fleming was found in his apartment at a retirement home in the Seattle's Bitter Lake neighborhood last December.
Police said Charles Jungbluth, 51, and Gilda Ramirez, 49, tortured Fleming in his apartment, stabbed him, slit his neck and stole his valuable collection of coins. The two pleaded not guilty at Thursday's arraignment.
For months, the crime went unsolved, but through DNA evidence found in Fleming's blood-spattered apartment, detectives linked the crimes to Youngbluth and Ramirez, authorities said.
One of Fleming's closest companions attended the arraignment because she said she wanted to see the people charged in the case in person.
"This murder has taken out a very fine man, a hero," said Rosemary Garnett, who called Fleming "the love of her life."
She said she found Fleming's body just two hours after she was with him.
"And I still have flashbacks to the scene of finding Patrick's body," Garnett said. "Although it's a blessing to have this man arrested, it doesn't bring Patrick back. And that's what we all want, is Patrick back."
Garnett said that for months, people at the retirement facility worried the murderer may have been a fellow resident.
She said that since the arrests, people who live there are breathing a little easier.