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Body found behind store identified

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the body of a woman found behind QFC on Pacific Highway South as 43-year-old Federal Way resident Linetra D. Thornton.

Thornton appears to have been strangled, according to investigators with the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, who conducted an autopsy last Tuesday afternoon.

Federal Way detectives are not releasing details about the circumstances surrounding her death, but Thornton was familiar to police.

In 1999, a King County Sheriff’s Office deputy saw Thornton walking down Pacific Highway South near Seatac, according to court records. He recognized her from previous contacts and arrested her for an outstanding warrant.

During a search, he discovered she was carrying cocaine. She was charged with violating the uniform controlled substances act in King County Superior Court.

Thornton also had cases out of several district courts, including Aukeen in Kent, Seatac, and Federal Way.

She was arrested twice in Federal Way in 1997 — once for third-degree theft and once for first-degree trespassing.

Thornton’s body was found just before noon last Monday near the garbage bin area behind the QFC, located in the 31000 block of Pacific Highway South.

Kevin Jones, who works at Wherehouse Music nearby, said he had been at work that day when his manager told employees she had tried to leave out the back door, but police had told her to go back inside.

He stood near the yellow crime scene tape cordoning the area where investigators were searching for evidence Monday night to learn more about what happened.

“It’s really scary, especially considering the fact that we have to throw the garbage out,” he said. “They had us stop doing that by ourselves before all this, but it makes more sense now.”

This is the first homicide investigation in Federal Way this year. Last year, Federal Way detectives investigated four homicides.

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