Ex-boyfriend now suspect in Kirkland mother's murder

by: Amy Clancy Updated:

Loading

The body of 28-year old Amy Gang Hargrove was found Jan. 6 inside her Kirkland home.

According to documents just filed in King County Superior Court, the young mother of four was strangled.  Her ex-boyfriend, 27-year-old Burrell Michael Cushman, is the prime suspect.  Detectives believe Cushman may also have tried to hide evidence.

In the new documents, detectives with the Kirkland Police Department write that Hargrove's body was found on her bed and “a blanket had been draped/hanging off of the bed and over a portable electric space heater, which was later confirmed to have been on full/high heat.” 

Officers entering the victim’s home “detected a burning smell and were led towards the kitchen area where… a pot was found on the stove, sitting atop an electric burner that had been turned on to maximum heat.”   Investigators noticed that “almost the entire kitchen was covered in a slick oily substance.” 

According to the search warrant, detectives suspected “that the victim’s killer had attempted to destroy evidence of the crime by attempting to cause a fire through the combined means of placing the blanket over the space heater and by filling a pot with cooking oil and placing it on maximum heat.”    

The new documents also reveal that Cushman told his mother during a phone conversation after Hargrove's murder, "I didn't hit her, but I have a real bad feeling about tonight" a phrase he repeated several times.

Cushman was questioned by Kirkland police in the days after Hargrove’s body was found.  According to the new documents, during that first interview Cushman admitted to spending the weekend Hargrove died at her home. 

Cushman told police that he and Hargrove had “argued multiple times because of his ‘wandering eye.’”  He also told police he had wet the bed while sleeping, so he washed the sheets. Cushman told police that when he left Hargrove’s home on the afternoon of Jan. 5, Hargrove “was alive, sitting and smoking marijuana by the slider door and yelling at him.” 

The detective working the case noted that “during his interview Burrell Cushman did not ask for any details about Hargrove’s death, did not show any emotion.”

Amy Hargrove had a current DV protection order against Cushman when she was murdered.  In her petition, Hargrove wrote “a piece of paper isn’t going to save my life when he finally gets me but at least you will know who killed me.”

There have been no arrests in Hargrove’s murder.

Want to talk about the news of the day? Watch free streaming video on the KIRO 7 mobile app and iPad app, and join us here on Facebook.