Suspect in Edmonds child luring case released from jail; prosecutors continue to collect evidence

The 59-year-old Lynnwood woman arrested Aug. 18 in connection with an alleged child luring outside the Edmonds Yacht Club has been released from the Snohomish County Jail without being charged.

According to a spokesperson for the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office, the matter “remains under review pending a charging decision.”

Part of this follow-up includes a request by the prosecutor to Edmonds police for additional evidence.

“Our detectives are responding to the request, and continue to work on the case,” said Edmonds Police spokesperson Sgt. Shane Hawley. “It remains an active investigation for us.”

As we previously reported, at approximately 8:45 p.m. on Aug. 21 the suspect allegedly approached the child, who was playing with friends in the Edmonds Yacht Club patio area while their parents were attending a function. She reportedly directed comments to the girl, seemingly in an attempt to lure her away, and also reached out her arm to the child. According to the police report, the other children told her to say no because the woman was a stranger, and then went inside the Yacht Club to get an adult.

When adults came out, the suspect left the scene in a white pick-up truck, accompanied by a man and another woman. The child’s mother called 911 and officers quickly arrived at the scene, located the truck and detained the occupants.

Police said they also questioned witnesses and family members, who reported that they saw the woman taking photos of the child. The victim told parents and investigators that the suspect had tried to get her to leave the area to see her “kitty cat.” Police also recovered a camera from the truck containing photos of a child believed to be the victim.

Based on statements of witnesses and the victim, police determined that there was probable cause to arrest the woman.  She was taken into custody transferred to the Snohomish County jail, where she was held on $150,000 bond. Her two associates were questioned and released.

On Aug. 21, the prosecutor filed a complaint in district court, citing probable cause that the suspect attempted to lure a 4-year-old female victim identified in court documents as V.A.M. with “intent to harm the victim’s health, safety or welfare.” Luring is a class 3 felony defined under RCW 9A.40.80.

The district court originally gave prosecutors until Sept. 6 to file felony charges in Snohomish County Superior Court. A subsequent continuance granted prosecutors an additional two weeks, pushing the date up to Sept. 20. No charges were filed by this date, so the suspect was released.

— By Larry Vogel