Maple Valley woman who missed salon appointment found dead in home

MAPLE VALLEY, Wash. — Julia Howell, 57, was found dead inside her Maple Valley home on Wednesday. Howell missed her scheduled hair appointment at Salon Matarazzo in Bellevue on Feb. 5.

Salon employees were concerned, because it was unusual for Howell to miss an appointment and not call. They tried to get in touch with her but she didn’t answer her phone. In the last two weeks, they found Howell’s husband had changed their home voice recording to say the couple was sick with the flu and would take a while to return calls. Salon workers knew Julia Howell had a tumultuous relationship with her husband.

“We knew something was up, she never missed an appointment,” said Carin Chatterton who works at Salon Matarazzo. “She was lovely. This is going to make me cry. She was just a gem. She loved everyone here, she brought us gifts all the time. She was a really a sweet, petite, little super-intelligent gal and it’s a shame.”

King County sheriff’s deputies went to the house for a welfare check. The house was secure so they left. They returned to the home on Wednesday and broke down the door. Howell’s body was found in a room upstairs.

Investigators have not been able to talk to Jason Howell, Julia’s husband. He has a startup company called H2Observe that tests water quality.

The medical examiner is expected to release the cause of death.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.