Washougal crime scene cleared

first_imgInvestigators work the scene Dec. 8, 2011, where a day earlier Steven Stanbary held police and firefighters off with a gun while his house burned to the ground in Washougal. WASHOUGAL– A black metal mailbox stands in front of an empty, grassy lot. Inside, a slightly discolored search warrant is nestled in a plastic sleeve.Elsewhere on the empty property in a quiet Washougal neighborhood, two charred trees still stand, living reminders of an unprecedented tragedy that lingers in the minds of neighbors and a city that’s worked to remove every last piece of a brutal double homicide and suicide that took place there.Nearly a year since Steven Stanbary killed his wife, her sister and himself, setting his house on fire and blasting away with high-powered rifles at police officers, most of the remnants of that day have finally been carted off. Three vehicles once belonging to Steven Stanbary were removed this week by surviving family members, the city said.With the vehicles’ removal, a once unthought-of ordeal is finally reaching a conclusion, Sherry Montgomery said. She is Washougal’s code enforcement officer. The city has never encountered a similar situation, she said, in which a visible crime scene took so long to clear.The reason the full cleanup took almost a year was because the city was “unclear who the responsible party was for a long time,” Montgomery said. “It became a shell game dealing with the banks.”last_img

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