LAKE STEVENS, Wash. - Ballistics and other forensic evidence led to the arrest of a Marysville man in connection with the shooting death of 15-year-old Magnolia girl Molly Conley.
More than a dozen people came forward with information about Erick Walker, the suspect in Conley's case, and investigators said there's no evidence others were involved. Walker, 26, changed his story four times and in one version told police he was drinking at an Irish bar about an hour before Conley's death, court documents show. Detectives found a bar receipt when searching his home.
Walker is suspected of 6 drive by shootings the night of June 1, the same night Conley was fatally struck in the neck. Bullets hit car windows and went through walls at one home. At a news conference Monday, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s deputies said Walker's SUV hit someone's car at one of the scenes.
"It backed up and drove around and headed off this way," said Christopher Johnson. He was asleep in a Marysville home with his 3-children when he heard bullets hit his neighbor’s house. He ran to the door and saw the drive-by shooter crash into a parked car in front of the house and speed off. "If they hadn't crashed they probably would have kept shooting down the block," said Johnson.
Investigators said Walker does not appear to have any connection to Conley, and her shooting death was random.
In the weeks after the shooting, the State Patrol Crime Lab was working on ballistics tests for some of the bullets that were found at the scene of Conley's shooting and the other shooting locations. Detectives came up with a list of possible weapons, and a list of people in the area who had recently bought similar guns.
Investigators say Marysville resident Walker was on the list. Detectives found his SUV, which had damage consistent with that which likely occurred during the hit-and-run, obtained search warrants and arrested Walker on Friday. Police said bullets from all the shootings were from the same Ruger-style gun. Walker posted a photo of his guns on his Facebook page that included that same gun style.
Detectives pulled several guns from Walker's home and one from his car, as well as well several clips of ammunition. He was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of first-degree murder, five counts of second-degree assault for the other shots fired at Conley's friends, and four counts of drive-by shooting. "We don't have any reason to believe there was anybody else. We're not going to close that door completely because this investigation is going to last a while longer," said Snohomish County Lt. Brent Speyer.
Previous coverage of Conley's case is linked below.