SEATTLE - A 62-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the deaths of two people whose remains were found in a suitcase on a West Seattle beach.
According to Seattle police, the man was arrested at his Burien residence on Wednesday afternoon, questioned and booked into the King County Jail. A judge set bail at $5 million.
Police did not immediately release any further information.
A group of teens doing something of a scavenger hunt in June filmed the suitcase that had washed up near shore at Duwamish Head. They opened it while recording for a TikTok post and found plastic bags.
They called police and waited for several hours for officers to arrive. By then the suitcase was nearly towed back to sea by the ebbing tide.
Authorities identified the remains of the two people found inside several bags as 35-year-old Jessica Lewis and 27-year-old Austin Wenner.
The family members are still in sheer disbelief that something so heinous happened to Lewis and 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 Associated Press contributed to this report.