Suspect in double homicide struggled with mental illness say friends

by: Natasha Chen Updated:

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SEATTLE - A man arrested in a double homicide Saturday has struggled with mental illness, according to friends.

Richard Parenteau Jr. was arrested Saturday night, after two bodies were found nearly a mile away from each other along the Duwamish waterway.

Parenteau was held without bail when he appeared in court Monday. 

Court documents did not indicate what might have led up to the murders of his mother and stepfather, which he is being held for.  His defense attorney did raise mental health concerns in open court.

The first body was found at about 6:30 a.m. Saturday by a man on a morning walk. He found the body of a male with severe head trauma along the Duwamish waterway.

The body of an adult female was found around 4 p.m. Saturday on the 7100 block of 1st Avenue South, underneath Highway 99.

Neighbors and friends said Parenteau is suspected of killing his mother, Linda Parenteau, and his stepfather, David Wells.

Detectives searched the home where the three of them lived, in the 700 block of South Southern Street.

Police are not looking for any other suspects or victims.

Parenteau’s longtime friend, Alan Crownover, said Parenteau had been checked into the Navos mental health facility twice in the last year or so. Crownover said he should have been more closely supervised or not released at all.

“He was unaccounted for. It’s like he fell through the cracks, and this is what we’re left with,” Crownover said.

KIRO 7 found records showing Parenteau has been arrested twice this year before this incident, including for assault.

Prior records show he had been charged with driving under the influence, driving without a license, and violating a restraining order from his ex-wife.

Crownover said Parenteau showed more severe signs of mental illness in the last few years.

“He would just laugh to himself and was always looking at airplanes. Just gibberish stuff, you know. He thought the CIA was following him around; when he got committed one time, he thought they implanted something in his arm,” Crownover said.

Crownover said he bought Wells’ two guns from him, so the weapons could be removed from the house, away from Parenteau.

Parenteau’s Facebook profile has posts saying he “published a book”, with an image of the Bible.

He also posted that he retired in 2011, with the comment “They killed my father and disrespected my father and me.”

Neighbor Patty Engrissei said she had seen SWAT come to the house three times in the past.

On Friday, she saw Parenteau from her window. She said he was pointing an imaginary gun at buildings on the street.

“He’s like a ticking time bomb," she said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Seattle Police Homicide Office at 206-684-5550.