Father pleads not guilty to cold-case killing of 3-year-old son in 1983

TACOMA -- A 57-year-old man who has been serving time in prison in Louisiana for killing his wife pleaded not guilty in Pierce County Superior Court to manslaughter Wednesday for the death of his 3-year-old son in 1983.

Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist had charged Stanley Guidroz with first-degree manslaughter last September. At the time, Guidroz was serving a sentence in a Louisiana prison for the murder of his wife.

According to the prosecutor's office, on Jan. 10, 1983, Guidroz called Tacoma police to report his son missing. Guidroz said he took his son fishing that day, and then they went to Point Defiance Park. He claimed they met another family at the park, and believed that family had kidnapped the boy, Wallace.

Police were unable to find the family that Guidroz described, and couldn’t tie Guidroz to the disappearance either. The case was eventually inactivated.

Guidroz left Washington state in 1984 and did not return.

In 2011, detective Gene Miller of the Tacoma Police Department’s Cold Case Unit re-opened the investigation and traveled to Louisiana to interview him.

After providing several more versions of his original story, Guidroz admitted to killing Wallace, the prosecutor's office said. Guidroz said that after they went fishing, he took Wallace home to feed him. Wallace was fussing in his high chair, and Guidroz “just lost it.” He backhanded Wallace, which caused him to fall to the floor and hit his head. Since Wallace wasn’t moving, Guidroz said he “knew he was dead.”

Guidroz drove Wallace to the Tacoma waterfront and buried him in a shallow grave before calling police to report Wallace missing. Guidroz told Miller that he was afraid of being labeled a “child killer” in prison, the prosecutor's office said.