ROCHESTER, Wa. -- Steven Billman or 'Steev-o' as everyone knew him would have turned 30-years-old last month. The Rochester man went missing in January of 2014. Thurston County Sheriff’s Detectives now believe he was murdered. "We know pretty much who did it. We just need the public's help in finding where Steven is at,” said Det. Frank Frawley.
The problem is, they can’t get their person of interest to talk about what might have happened. He has invoked his right to an attorney.
“Steev-o was involved in the marijuana growing business, both starting marijuana grows and maintaining marijuana grows,” said Det. Frawley.
He believes Billman was killed by a man he was living and working with at a marijuana growing operation after some kind of argument. Q13 News is not naming the person of interest because he has not been charged with a crime.
"The person of interest, I know is very nervous. Talking to other witnesses. Everybody is afraid of him.” said Det. Frawley who added that the person of interest told another witness last July that "he messed up royally and wouldn't be able to recover from it." Detective Frawley says he knows that the person of interest was seen putting several coats of paint on his garage floor.
The break in the case came in 2016 after Det. Frawley got a hit on Billman’s pickup truck that had been missing.
“I ran Steev-o's name and it showed as a missing person and then I ran the truck and it came back registered to another person,” said Det. Frawley. The truck had changed hands several times but they were able to trace it back to the person of interest. "We found out that this person of interest actually had another witness to get rid of the truck,” said Det. Frawley.
The Washington State Patrol Crime Lab searched the vehicle for forensic evidence.
“They did recover blood stains inside the truck. They located not only in the bed of the truck but they located behind the seat. They located some on the seat and then some on the headliner,” said Det. Frawley. They found several different types of blood which are now being tested for a DNA profile. "We want Steev-o back. We want to give closure to the family and bring these people to justice” said Det. Frawley.
The idea that her brother is out in the woods somewhere or buried in somebody’s yard haunts Billman’s oldest sister.
"I'm not worried about anyone getting in trouble. I'm worried about where my brother is and if he's a deceased body, like him not being forgotten about,” said Jessica Miller.
If you have any information on where deputies can find Steven Billman, submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers of OlympiaThurston County by using the P3 Tips App on your phone or by calling 1-800-222-TIPS. There is a $1,000 reward for information that solves this case.
Please contact Det. Frawley at (360) 786-5599 if you would like to speak with him about Billman’s disappearance.