Friend says missing couple rushed to their accused murderer's home after Oso landslide

ARLINGTON, Wash. – A close friend of Monique Patenaude and Patrick Shunn said that in the moments after the Oso landslide, the couple sprinted across a flooding pasture to check on John Reed – one of the two men charged Tuesday with first-degree murder following what police say were brutal deaths for both.

John Reed and his brother, Tony, are missing and both were charged with murder after police said they found “significant blood evidence” in the cargo area of Patenaude and Shunn’s vehicles. The vehicles were found down an embankment on Sunday in a remote, wooded area near Oso, Wash.

Margaret Dunn Hedlund said she became like a surrogate mother to Patenaude after Patenaude’s mother died from cancer about two years ago.

“The kind of people they are is that on the day of the landslide, they sat there and they could see the trees and they could see the landslide happening, and when it stopped, they ran down into the field to that John Reed’s house to see if he was OK and still there,” Hedlund told Q13 News on Tuesday. “They’re running through fish jumping in their pasture because of the water rushing up onto the land and it had fish in it. They risked everything just to run down and see if he was ok.”

“To think that he would take their lives is almost uncomprehendable  (sic).”

Hedlund, who met Patenaude soon after moving to town three years ago, said she had cancer when the landslide occurred, and that the Patenaude and Shunn showed up for a fundraiser for her just a few hours after the disaster.

“They show up at 5 o’clock with their two vehicles with everything but the sheep,” she said. “They’ve got two ducks. They’ve got their chicken and roosters. They got their cat. They’ve got at the time, two dogs.”

Hedlund said the couple moved to the outskirts of Arlington because they wanted to get “out in the boondocks,” describing both as hardworking and happy.

“She loved life,” Hedlund said. “She would give you the absolute last shirt on her back and didn’t deserve to go out when she was such an earthy, loving person.

“He was her Yin to her Yang.”

Police tracked the Reed brothers to Arizona and California, and said they might be heading to Mexico.

“The last information available to affiant prior to writing this document is that the 2002 Acura was spotted in California near the Mexican border on Monday, April 18,” court documents said.