Why are missing persons seemingly such low priority to local cops? Dave Ross (KIRO m-f, 9a-12p) asked that question today, about Tanya Rider, the Maple Valley woman, rescued after more than a week trapped inside her wrecked car.
A sheriff's office flack didn't have very satisfying explanations. Why did it take so long to ping her cell phone- which is the relatively easy investigative method that found her?
As we were listening to Ross, we got an email from murdered talk host, Mike Webb's sister, Marian Bogni still stinging from the bungled Missing Person's investigation that failed so spectacularly to find Mike's body even as it lay in his own house!
We crammed into the sweaty little room full of cameras and reporters in Courtroom #2 at the King County Jail hoping to get a glimpse of 28-year-old Scott White, the man police say has confessed to murdering Mike Webb and secreting his body in a crawlspace in Webb's house.
(PHOTO: Scott White, courtesy KIROTV, read their coverage here.) )
Seattle Police officers went into slain talk host Mike Webb's house twice over months and didn't see, smell, or grok Webb's body in the basement?
Even though you say they had a cadaver dog?!(These dogs' noses are so sensitive they can sniff out bodies under running water, in piles of rubble, or under many feet of avalanched snow).
Even though the next door neighbor reported flies thick on a basement window; and Mike's brother, at about the time the dog supposedly went in the house, reported a smell so strong he had to wear a mask?
The following is an email to KING 5.com sent to KING5 News reporter Chris Daniels from David Neth, the property manager for the Seattle home in which a body was found and that was rented by missing radio host Mike Webb: I am a 30 year Seattle Realtor with The Landmark Group and I sold this house (as agent) to the owner in the early 1990's as a rental and have managed it for her since then.
I met Michael when he moved into the house with his then partner, Steve Ligino.
This was in July of 1992. Back then Mike worked for KIXI.
Michael Kenneth Webb is dead, he would have been 53 years old in September.
One of the very few liberal talkers in liberal Seattle was behind the microphone nearly 10 years at KIRO. He served at KVI as a DJ, and program director when that station was still an oldies station owned by Gene Autry.
Mike was known to his listeners as a passionate advocate of his point of view and a ferocious adversary to the opposing side.
Mike wouldn't have liked all the hubbub around his house.
The shabby white house with the peeling paint that Mike had rented for 14 years was hidden in the trees on the sloped lot above Third Avenue West.
It was hard to find- Mike said he liked it that way.
Besides the TV satellite trucks hubbubing around the blocked off Smith Street, and the steep driveway were three cruisers, some unmarked cop cars, a couple of grey police vans, and the cop motorhome with hot coffee and clean bathroom.
Mike didn't like cops, either.
And now they were crawling all over his house and yard- scores of them- wearing blue barrier gloves and white paper masks.
Ominously, the Medical Examiner's brown Chevy pickup was parked in the middle of the street.
We stood with the reporters, the camera guys and the neighborhood lookie-loos for hours as homicide cops did their "suspicious death" investigation under the two white crime scene canopies set up in Mike's yard.
I've never met him, every neighbor we talked to said. Lived here for years, didn't know it was Mike Webb who lived there.
The bombastic Mike's off-air life was considerably lower key than his on-air persona might indicate.
The cops were called this afternoon about 2p by the landlord's agent, who called 911 after he discovered the body in the house- although he wouldn't say exactly where.
The body was so decomposed that its gender, race, or age could be determined.
A family member tells BlatherWatch: "The police had cadaver dogs in there, it was either June 15 or 22nd. The police have done "thorough" searches at least twice, assuring us they went through the house several times on each visit.
The landlord told neighbors he had been in the house a couple of weeks before, and Mike's brother Wayne had been up from California and had been in the house.
But "transients" were said to have been in and out of the easily accessed house, despite attempts to board it up.
The family is hoping the body will be ID-ed in the morning.
Police are investigating a suspicious death case after a body was found inside a house in the 2000 block of 3rd Avenue West around 3 p.m. on Thursday, according to police.
Police said the owner of the house found the body inside the rental home where former KIRO radio personality Mike Webb lived before he disappeared in April.
Police said it is impossible to tell whether the body is that of Webb.
"The body is badly decomposed at this time," said Assistant Police Chief Nick Metz. "We can't determine the person's gender, age, race, and that all will not be able to be determined until we work with the King County Medical Examiner's Office to determine all of that."
Webb was last seen on April 13th and has been reported missing since. Police said they searched Webb's home after the initial report of his disappearance, though they can't specify exactly when they made their visit.
read Blatherwatch coverage here, and here. Click here for more analysis.
Duct-taped to the door is a plain white form: the kind rental agents buy on pads from office supply stores.
NOTICE TO PAY RENT OR QUIT PREMISES
It's the first step in the eviction of Mike Webb.
He needs to get current with his landlord- one Mr. Fang- by June 30 or vacate the house on Queen Anne Hill where he's lived for years. (It's the house, though worse for the wear, that's sheltered him through the death of his partner, his mom, and his old and loyal dog, Frances.
Webb is gone, and his belongings are still in the house- at least what's left of them. After Mike disappeared,
the premises were trashed by transients and who knows else. His brother
Wayne came up from California to see after the situation; after huddling with police, he and some of Mike's
friends cleaned up the mess, mowed the lawn.
Mike Webb's house has been ransacked, and he's still missing; but he left his car, and other personal effects behind, according to his deeply worried family.
Friends and family haven't heard from the former KIRO late night talk host, since April 13, although a Dept. of Corrections spokesman told Blatherwatch that Webb called in to his Community Custody officer on April 30.
Checking in on Webb's streamed "talk show" (rarely did anyone talk but himself) since his conviction in February, we noticed a few things: he rambled and screwed up, pushing the wrong buttons sometimes; and knocking over stuff.