• UW student injured in assault dies, boyfriend in jail

    By: Joanna Small


    SEATTLE - A University of Washington student called 911 on Sunday when he heard a man beating a woman to death in the apartment below him.  The suspect and victim are both UW students as well.

    Campus was pretty empty on Sunday because it’s spring break at the university. That’s why it appears only one person inside the small apartment building on NE 50th Street and 22nd Avenue NE heard what was happening in a basement unit.

    The student who called 911 was so traumatize he didn’t want to be identified.

     “It’s pretty upsetting,” he said.

    He said he heard Katy Straalsund, 22, the woman in the apartment below his, being beaten to death.

    “At first, I thought they were just watching a video or playing video games, because nowadays, kids do that," he said.  "And then later, they started pounding the wall and making my floor vibrate. The guy was, you know, calling out, ‘I’m going to [expletive] kill you.’”

    He said he called 911 and led some police officers down the stairs to unit 4 while another officer moved around to the side of the building. Through a window, the officer says he saw Casey Henderson, 21, choking Straalsund.  According to the police report, parts of her body were blue.

    “The girl was still making noise and moaning, almost like she was defenseless,” the student said.

    By the time police burst through the door, Straalsund had no pulse.  Later, police say Henderson admitted to repeatedly punching and kicking the victim so hard he broke his wrist and asked officers several times if she was dead.

    “It’s just surprising that it actually happened under my own floor,” the student said.

    The student learned Straalsund died Tuesday. He knows the people who loved her are hurting and so is he.

    “I’m just sorry that this happened to your family, and I really wish I could have called earlier,” he said.

    Henderson told police he and Straalsund had been dating and that they took LSD together the night before. He said he attacked her, because he became paranoid and thought she was plotting against him. 

    He’s being held in the King County Jail on $1 million bond.

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