Suspect taken into custody in connection with deaths of woman, child found near Lacey

Suspect taken into custody in connection with deaths of woman, child found near Lacey
Booking photo of suspect from Thurston County Sheriff's Office. (Thurston County Sheriff's Office)

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A man connected with the deaths of a woman and a child, whose bodies were found Tuesday near Lacey, has been taken into custody, the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office said.

Investigators on Thursday evening released 31-year-old Nick Denham’s photo and later took him into custody.

The two bodies were found on an old logging road in the 5700 block of Puget Beach Drive NE.

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Detectives called the deaths suspicious and said all signs point to homicide. Investigators do not believe the two people were killed in a murder-suicide.

“There are definitely visible injuries, at least to the adult victim, that we’re able to tell at this point,” said Thurston County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Ray Brady. “That would lead us to believe it was most likely done by homicidal means.”

Investigators said they believe one of the victims is a child based on size but could not yet provide a possible age or confirm the relationship between the two.

People who live in the area want answers.

"I’m kind of curious, just like everybody else, what happened? And who these people were,” said Roger Allen, who lives in the area.

The bodies were found in a wooded area about 20 yards off the road, according to deputies, who said they don’t believe the bodies had been there more than 24 hours. Detectives are still working to confirm whether the woman and child died there or were placed there.

"I hope they figure out who it was and take him to justice, that’s all,” Allen said.

Deputies said the bodies could’ve gone unnoticed for days had the hikers not come along, who reported not seeing any other cars parked nearby that could’ve belonged to the woman or a suspect.

"There could be other victims because it’s a spread-out area, it’s a refuge, you know, there’s no telling what could happen,” said Elliot Dodrill.

Part of the investigation will include checking recent missing person reports.

The Thurston County Coroner’s Office and deputies are still working to confirm the identities of the woman and child.