National News

The Latest: $1 million bail for suspect in deadly kidnapping

Posted November 21

— The Latest on the kidnapping of a Washington state woman (all times local):

3:05 p.m.

Bail has been set at $1 million for a woman who's suspected of kidnapping another woman whose body was later found along a road in Washington state.

Prosecutor Andy Miller says he has until Wednesday to file charges against Theresa Wiltse, a 49-year-old former prison guard who appeared in Benton County court Monday.

Wiltse was arrested Friday in connection with kidnapping 69-year-old Sandra Harris of Kennewick after police tailed her from where she picked up a $250,000 ransom.

A police report says Wiltse confessed to taking part in the abduction.

Police have said the women knew each other but haven't detailed their relationship.

Harris' was found dead Sunday. Prosecutors say Harris appeared to be the victim of a gunshot wound. An autopsy is scheduled later this week.

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1 p.m.

Court documents say the kidnapper of a Kennewick woman had the victim call her husband and say they wanted $250,000 in exchange for her release.

Suspect Theresa Wiltse, 49, showed up to receive the money and was tailed and then arrested by Kennewick police last Friday night.

Court documents say blood was found in the back seat of Wiltse's vehicle, and that she confessed to being part of a plot to kidnap 69-year-old Sandra Harris.

Harris' body was found Sunday along a rural road near Kennewick.

Police say Harris and her husband, Randy, owned Ace Jewelry and Loan, a pawn shop in Kennewick.

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11:05 a.m.

Authorities in Washington state aren't ruling out additional suspects in the case of a 69-year-old woman who was found dead two days after she was abducted for ransom.

But police in the city of Kennewick said Monday that they aren't looking for anyone in particular. Theresa Wiltse has been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping.

Police say the abduction wasn't random and the suspect was known to victim Sandra Harris and her husband. They say there's no danger to the public.

An autopsy is scheduled this week for Harris, whose body was found near a highway Sunday.

Police say the kidnapper used Harris' cellphone to call her husband at work Friday and demand an undisclosed amount of money. Authorities negotiated and agreed to meet up to pay the ransom.

It wasn't clear where the money is now.

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7:55 a.m.

Authorities say a 69-year-old woman reportedly abducted for ransom in Washington state has been found dead — two days after police agreed to pay the money and arrested someone they said was involved.

The Benton County Sheriff's Office says the body of Sandra Harris was found by a motorist midday Sunday along Coffin Road, 2 miles east of Interstate 82 in southeastern Washington. The sheriff's office said it's not clear how she died.

Kennewick police say Harris was kidnapped Friday from her Kennewick home. The kidnapper used Harris' cellphone to call the victim's husband at work and demanded an undisclosed amount of money.

Local and federal investigators negotiated with the kidnapper for several hours and ultimately paid the ransom Friday night.

Forty-nine-year old Theresa Wiltse of Connell, Washington, was arrested shortly afterward.

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