Bail set at $1 million for man charged with killing estranged girlfriend in Milton apartment

TACOMA, Wash. – Joshua Ellis, 27, was charged with second-degree murder Tuesday for the death of his estranged girlfriend in her Milton apartment earlier this month.

Investigators believe Wendi Marie Traynor, 25, was killed by a single gunshot to the head in her Milton apartment on November 3. Her body wasn't found until her father and other relatives went to her apartment on Friday, Nov. 10.

Traynor’s father, who is a co-signer on the lease, obtained a key and entered the apartment. Once inside they found Traynor lying face down on the floor in a pool of dried blood. Traynor’s father called 911.

Investigators found a 10mm bullet casing near the body. Ammunition matching this casing was found in a search of Ellis’s vehicle, the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office said in a news release.

Family members told investigators Traynor had been in a relationship with Ellis for about two years and they moved together to Kentucky in June.

"The relationship went sour and Traynor left. ... In October of this year, Traynor moved back to Washington without Ellis. He eventually followed," the prosecutor's office said.

"Traynor moved into her apartment November 1. Witnesses reported that Ellis was with her at the time. On November 3, Traynor texted a friend that she was meeting with her 'ex' to discuss the relationship 'in person.' No one heard from her again," the prosecutor's office said.


Ellis, 27, turned himself in at the King County Jail. He was brought back to Pierce County to stand trial.

Bail was set Tuesday at $1 million.