Auburn man's death ruled a homicide

by: Deborah Horne Updated:

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An Auburn man's wife told investigators she thought her husband had committed suicide, but the King County medical examiner disagreed, concluding he was murdered.  Now Auburn police said they have a person of interest.

According to court documents only KIRO 7 dug up, Ilene McCune, a Metro Bus driver, returned home from work Aug. 2 and found her husband, Wayne McCune, dead inside the duplex they shared in the 1800 block of C Street Southeast in Auburn.

Wayne McCune's throat was cut, and a plastic bag was over his head.  His head was partially buried under a dog bed and filing cabinet.  Ilene McCune took a picture with her cellphone then removed the items. She told detectives she believed her husband of 18 years had committed suicide. He suffered from debilitating ailments, she said, and had been searching the Internet for ways to take his own life.

That was a surprise to his neighbor and friend, David Cooke.  He said McCune was 'depressed' about having to euthanize one of his beloved dogs, who was terminally ill. 

“But he wasn't suicidal by any means,” Cooke insisted.

The King County medical examiner agreed, ruling McCune's death was a homicide.

He had several defensive wounds that showed he tried to fight off his attacker.  The house showed no signs of forced entry and police could not find a murder weapon.

Auburn police said Sunday the person of interest is a man, who is neither a relative nor a friend.  But they are still trying to determine a motive.

Some neighbors told KIRO 7 McCune was known to have powerful painkillers in his home that may have made him a target. 

But Cooke said he knows no one who wanted his friend dead.

“He really was a kind man,” said Cooke. “He helped me out on some occasions.  He's always been a good person.”

Ilene McCune wrote on her Facebook page that a memorial service will be held for her husband Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Lifegate Church, 307 East Main Street, Auburn.