SEATTLE - The family of a young couple whose dismembered bodies were discovered on Alki Beach last month are speaking out for the first time.
The family members are still in sheer disbelief that something so heinous happened to 35-year-old Jessica Lewis and 27-year-old Austin Wenner, two people they said never hurt anyone.
“I want to believe they didn’t suffer,” said Gina Jaschke, Jessica’s aunt.
Jaschke said initially she was just told that the couple was shot to death. It wasn't until later did the family find out Lewis and Wenner's dismembered remains were found in bags at Alki Beach.
Jaschke said the news of the incident made the pain and horror all the more unfathomable.
“I couldn’t believe that was their story, because I’d been it trying to look for them…not in a million years did I think that was them,” she said.
Jaschke said the family is “absolutely broken” and is haunted by the memory of her brother calling to tell her the news about Jessica, his daughter.
The case’s shocking details have garnered a lot of attention, which has been very tough for their loved ones, who said the couple of eight years was so much more than just how they died.
“I don’t want them to be remembered for the brutality, I don’t want them to be remembered in any violent way. I want them to be remembered for their humanity and their kindness,“ she said.
Jaschke said the pair lived together in Seatac and that Jessica had been working for her grandmother, helping to care for developmentally disabled adults. Jessica was also a mother with four children.
“They had their struggles like we all do, and that’s just shows how much they cared about each other. They didn’t leave or anything when things got rough, they always stuck it out together through the ups and downs,” Jaschke said.
Jaschke said she has no idea why anyone would do this to the longtime couple. It’s an unimaginable scenario that’s left them with so many questions. They said they won’t give up until they have answers.
“I don’t think anybody’s going be able to heal fully or even come close to it until these people are caught.”
If you’d like to help the families of Jessica and Austin, Jessica’s aunt Gina has created a gofundme page in hopes of raising money for a reward.