Police activity in Olympia and Tumwater on Monday night — and two traffic crashes — were related to a Tacoma homicide investigation, the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Thursday.
Matthew Leupold, 32, was arrested near Olympia High School at about 5:45 p.m. Monday, after colliding with two vehicles while eluding Thurston County deputies. He is charged with first-degree aggravated murder and first-degree arson in the deaths of Mary Buras, 22, and Theresa Greenhalgh, 31, in Tacoma, and is being held without bail. Buras and Greenhalgh’s remains were found about 2:45 a.m. Friday after Tacoma firefighters responded to a blaze in the 3700 block of South Yakima Avenue.
The two women, who were found dead inside the Tacoma house, were decapitated, according to Pierce County court records.
During deputies’ attempt to apprehend Leupold on Monday night, Leupold allegedly collided with a vehicle near the intersection of North Street Southeast and Custer Avenue in Tumwater.
According to Olympia Fire Department records, no one was injured.
Leupold continued east on North Street, and ran a red light at the intersection with Henderson Boulevard, the Olympia Police Department reported. Lt. Paul Lower said a vehicle entering the intersection was able to slow down enough to avoid a major collision, but the car was still struck by Leupold’s vehicle.
Neither driver was injured, Lower said. Leupold’s car came to a stop shortly after the collision, and he was arrested.
According to dispatch records, law enforcement closed Henderson Boulevard after the collision.
Sgt. Carla Carter of the Sheriff’s Office said she was unable to release details of the arrest Tuesday because other suspects in the Tacoma murder case hadn’t been arrested.
Matthew Leupold’s sister, Lindsey Leupold, 36, has been charged with first-degree rendering criminal assistance. Her bail was set at $500,000.
Matthew Leupold’s 15-year-old nephew faces the same charge, and a first-degree arson charge.