Olympia police haven’t been able to substantiate the story given by Christopher Harrison, 19, said Lt. Jim Costa. Harrison was being held Thursday at the Thurston County Jail with bail set at $750,000 after a judge found probable cause to support the murder charge.
Police found charred human remains in a 50-gallon burn barrel Tuesday night near a camp in the 900 block of Devoe Street. Harrison has given conflicting stories about what happened, court papers state.
According to court papers:
A transient who was booked Tuesday at the Nisqually Jail told police Harrison told him he used a belt to strangle his victim after “he had returned to the camp and found an unknown male raping two unknown women.” Harrison told the man that the women’s hands were bound by ropes, and that they fled after he killed their attacker.
He also said Harrison had shown him the remains; his tip led police to the scene.
But after Harrison was arrested Wednesday, he told police a different version, saying he had been downtown with a homeless man named Sonic. He told police Sonic had told him to meet him later at the camp, and when he did, “he found Sonic raping two unknown females in his tent.” He told police he struck Sonic with a piece of wood, then stabbed him in the abdomen three times when Sonic tackled him. He said that when he pushed Sonic off him, the women were gone.
Harrison has given police “several versions of the incident,” court papers state.
Coroner Gary Warnock said his office has been unable to determine a cause or manner of death. The corner’s office hopes to have the victim’s name by today, Warnock said.
Harrison has told court officials that “he’s been homeless and living on the streets or in the woods for the past year.” He has been on probation in juvenile court, and his probation officer has reported that Harrison “has incurred violations for making violent threats at school and to peers.”