Foster parents of Wallingford victim get terrible news

The foster parents of a woman found stabbed to death in her Wallingford home are mourning their loss.

"She just couldn't kill a flea," said Carol Munson, foster mother of Lita Byrnes. "She was just sunshine."

KIRO 7 is learning more about the role Byrnes played in this Seattle community as police continue their search for her killer.

A friend found the body of Byrnes Monday morning.  But her killer is still on the loose.

In an unusual move, a Seattle police patrol car is still outside the murder scene four days later.  But police have not been willing to provide many answers about the murder.  As it happens, some people who knew and cared for the victim are still just finding out she's dead.

"We happened to be here," said John Munson, Byrnes' foster father. "We live in Portland. And we were staying with my brother. And I picked up the paper and my God, there's her picture."

The Munsons were talking just a few hundred feet from the scene where 38-year-old Byrnes lived and where she died.  They say she was their foster daughter beginning her senior year in high school, and lived in their Portland home.

"She was just a ray of sunshine," said Carol Munson. "She had Hawaiian roots and that was very evident."

A friend came to the duplex where Byrnes lived on North 43rd in Wallingford Monday morning and found her dead.  Seattle police soon arrived. And they haven't fully left. Yet, police still haven't said anything about a suspect or a person of interest who might be connected to this crime.

Her friend, George Burgyan, scrolled through an online album full of pictures he took of her.

"She always made time to talk to anyone who needed some time," said Burgyan.  "She always made sure that people were trying to be kind of each other."

Byrnes was well known in her community. She was an administrator for at least three community Facebook pages including for Wallingford and Fremont.  Now, those she knew and loved are grappling with the violent conclusion to her life.

"I can't believe it," said John Munson. "To have this happen to somebody that we love and cared for is just a shock!"

Many of her friends have spent the day here tending to the memorial growing in her honor not far from her home. Her friends say there are many rumors about who have might have killed Byrnes.

KIRO 7 will keep asking Seattle police for answers.

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