Investigators are sorting through evidence and plan to contact family members as they try figure out who killed a 5-year-old Spanaway boy and what prompted the homicide-suicide of his parents.
But even that work might not explain why David Stewart fatally shot his wife, Kristy Sampels, and which of them killed their son, Jordan.
“Everybody wants to have answers,” Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said Thursday. “We can do what we can, but that doesn’t mean we are going to have answers.”
He added the three people who know what happened are dead.
“There’s nobody left to prosecute,” Troyer said. “There’s no note.”
Stewart, a 38-year-old Army sergeant and combat medic, shot himself Tuesday at the end of a high-speed pursuit that started when he sped past a Washington State Patrol trooper on Interstate 5.
The pursuit ended in Tumwater when Stewart crashed his car. Troopers found Sampels, 38, in the car. She was mortally wounded from a gunshot wound to the head and died shortly after being placed in an ambulance.
A few hours later, Pierce County sheriff’s deputies went to the couple’s Spanaway home and found Jordan’s body wrapped in a blanket in a bedroom. A plastic bag covered his head.
The boy had been suffocated and his body had bruises and signs of past abuse. Investigators believe Jordan was killed about 24 hours before his body was discovered.
Family members of the couple have asked investigators to test the plastic bag for fingerprints, believing that might identify the killer, Troyer said.
But that might not be the case.
“This bag is a bag that could have been touched by everybody in the house multiple times,” Troyer said. “If we print the bag, all it tells us is that person touched the bag.”
Investigators are reviewing the evidence compiled in the case.
They’ll look at cellphone records and contacting members of Stewart’s and Sampels’ families, all of whom live out of state, in trying to put together a time line of the couple’s last days.
The detectives will decide what evidence to send off for further forensic testing, which could take months to complete.
“We need to get further into it to see if any of the evidence will be helpful to determine what happened,” Troyer said. “We have a ton of information to look through and it’s not going to happen overnight.”