$1 million bail in Wenatchee beauty school murder case

Acquaintances say the man accused of killing a 17-year-old Wenatchee girl was obsessed with death, corpses and serial killers, according to court documents.

Christopher Scott Wilson, 29, is being held for the slaying of Mackenzie Cowell. Police said he may have had romantic feelings for his beauty school classmate. Bail was set at $1 million Thursday, and a public defender was appointed.

Wilson was arrested Wednesday after DNA evidence found on duct tape linked him to the crime, police said.

Wilson and Cowell were classmates at a beauty school where Cowell was last seen on Feb. 9. Her body was found four days later along the Columbia River at Crescent Bar.

Court documents filed this week indicated several people contacted police with concerns about Wilson after Cowell disappeared.

One person wrote a letter to police in August claiming Wilson had an "obsession with death, dead bodies and serial killers" and once tried to choke a female friend.

Another woman told police she worked with Wilson previously and that he told her he used a belt to strangle a guest at an Ellensburg area hotel where he worked several years ago, according to the documents. Police told a news conference Thursday they had not found any unsolved killings in the Ellensburg area.

A woman who was a student at the Academy of Hair Design with Wilson said he told her he "liked to cut people up" when he was working at funeral homes. Investigators said Wilson worked at several funeral homes in the Wenatchee area.

Police said Cowell was beaten, stabbed and strangled. An autopsy report concluded someone tried to cut off her arm after she was dead.

Investigators said a DNA sample from Wilson matched DNA found on a piece of duct tape recovered from where Cowell's body was found. When confronted with the DNA evidence during an interview with police Wednesday, Wilson asked for a lawyer and was arrested.

Court documents said Wilson was interviewed twice about Cowell's disappearance and that he said he never interacted with her and did not know who killed her.

But other students at the school told investigators they saw Wilson speaking with Cowell, the documents said.