Crime Law

25 years later, man jailed in Chehalis couple's slaying

CHEHALIS, Wash. — After 25 years, a man accused of killing a Chehalis couple is jailed in Lewis County.

Rick Riffe was arrested earlier this month in Alaska and was jailed in Anchorage.

On Wednesday night, he arrived at Sea-Tac Airport in handcuffs, heavily guarded, and then was transported to the Lewis County Jail.

Detectives say Riffe killed 81-year-old Ed Maurin and 83-year-old Minnie Maurin.

According to investigators, Riffe and his brother, John Riffe, kidnapped the couple from their home in 1985, drove them in their own car to a bank, and had them withdraw $8,500.

The Riffe brothers then shot the couple and dumped them in the woods west of Chehalis, prosecutors said.

John Riffe died of natural causes in June, the same week detectives bought their tickets to go to King Salmon, Alaska, to arrest the brothers.

The victims’ son, Dennis Hadaller, said he promised his parents the killer would be caught, a promise he kept, thanks to the unending work of Lewis County detectives.

“Every day, I’ve thought of their deaths.  Four or five times a day,” said Hadaller.

Police said the Riffe brothers were longtime suspects, but investigators said they had problems with witnesses because the brothers threatened retaliation.

But in February, a witness positively identified the Riffe brothers as having been seen riding with the Maurins in their car 25 years ago.

Rick Riffe will be tried for murder, kidnapping, robbery and burglary.

“You’ll never have complete closure because you’ll always wonder why,” said Hadaller.

“I’ve seen a lot of homicides. They’re all bad, but this was especially bad. It wasn’t a crime of passion, it was a crime of greed,” said Lewis County Sheriff Steven Mansfield.

Riffe's first court appearance will be Thursday afternoon.

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