• Spanaway woman's disappearance investigated as homicide


    SPANAWAY, Wash. -  

     A Spanaway woman vanished as a court ordered her ex-husband to give her nearly $70,000, but no suspects have been named in the case.



    Crime Stoppers of Tacoma and Pierce County issued an alert about the case on Wednesday.



    While investigators are not calling anyone a suspect in the disappearance, they said circumstances surrounding Rita Kagawa's case lead them to believe she was slain.



    Kagawa disappeared in late May.



    The case is being called a homicide partially because she vanished at the same time a court awarded her more than $67,000 in retirement money her ex-husband had failed to pay her.



    Kagawa had divorced in 1997 and sued her former husband last year after learning he had retired from the military, but hadn't been giving her tens of thousands of dollars in pension payments as ordered by the court more than a decade ago.



    At this time, investigators are not calling Kagawa's ex-husband a suspect in her disappearance.



    “It’s a missing persons report, but we’re working it as a homicide until something tells us different,” said Pierce County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Det. Ed Troyer.



       Kagawa's sister-in-law, Linda Terronez, was also hesitant to blame Kagawa’s ex-husband, saying at this point, no one knows for certain what happened to her.



        Crime Stoppers is offering a reward in the case for anyone who can give investigators the answers they need to solve the case.

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