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Homicide investigation expands

Jane Carol Britt - Courtesy photo
Jane Carol Britt
— image credit: Courtesy photo

By JACINDA HOWARD, The Mirror

Federal Way police called upon Crime Stoppers to offer a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest in the homicide of Jane Carol Britt.

Britt, 75, was found dead in her car March 19 outside the Garden Terrace Alzheimer’s Center residential facility at 491 S. 338th St. in Federal Way. Britt, a resident of Twin Lakes in Federal Way, had visited the center the previous day to see her husband, who is a resident there.

She left the facility at approximately 7 p.m. March 18. When her son was unable to locate her the next day, he visited the center, then reported her absence. That same day, officers located Britt’s body in the trunk of her gold 2002 Mercedes 320 four-door sedan, which was parked at the care facility.

On March 21, the King County Medical Examiner reported Britt’s cause of death as asphyxia due to strangulation. The victim also had injuries from blunt force to her head and neck, reports said.

There is no indication that robbery was the motive for the murder, said police spokeswoman Cathy Schrock.

Soon after police discovered Britt’s body, a video of a suspicious man at a nearby gas station was submitted to police. The man was considered a person of interest, but has since come forward and has been cleared as a possible suspect, Schrock said.

“He didn’t provide any updates (to the investigation),” she said.

On March 21, police processed Britt’s vehicle for forensic evidence, such as DNA and fingerprints, and while Schrock was unable to say exactly what was found, she said police have gathered a significant amount of evidence.

“There was a great deal of evidentiary items recovered, and now it’s just seeing where it leads us,” she said.

The evidence is currently being prioritized and will be submitted to the Washington State Crime Lab, Schrock said. She was unable to determine how long it may take the lab to investigate and analyze the data. But an unsolved homicide case will take priority at the lab, she said.

Crime Stoppers will produce fliers requesting the public to come forward with any tips or information pertaining to the crime. Federal Way police will continue to handle the investigation, Schrock said.

“All we are doing is asking their assistance in requests for information,” she said.

Collaboration with Crime Stoppers is generally done when police have not identified a suspect within a few days’ time, Schrock said.

“If you go a few days without an identified suspect, then you start accessing as many resources as possible,” she said.

Though a suspect has not been identified, Schrock said the case is still a priority and is most definitely active.

“We have certainly not exhausted all leads,” she said.

Anyone with information about the death of Jane Carol Britt is asked to contact Det. Douglas Deyo at (253) 835-6891 or e-mail douglas.deyo@cityoffederalway.com. Also visit the Crime Stoppers Web site at www.crimestoppers-ps.com/pages.php/1000 to submit an anonymous tip via e-mail or call the organization’s 24-hour Washington state tip line at (800) 222-TIPS.

Contact Jacinda Howard: jhoward@fedwaymirror.com or (253) 925-5565.

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