The boyfriend of an Olympia woman accused of killing and dismembering her mother earlier this summer was arrested on a warrant Wednesday in connection with the death of Susan Lundy.
Ryan Parker, 30, appeared in court Thursday afternoon on the charge of rendering criminal assistance in the first degree, a felony. Parker’s lawyer entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf.
His bail was set at $100,000 and he was ordered to have no contact with Amara Lundy, 23, who pleaded not guilty last week to the charge of first-degree murder. She is being held at the Thurston County jail without bail.
Susan Lundy was reported missing July 6. According to court documents, Amara Lundy confessed to police Aug. 12 that she had strangled her mother with a section of cord she purchased.
In an interview with a detective, Amara Lundy allegedly said she dismembered her mother’s body and that she and her boyfriend got a shopping cart from a local grocery store and disposed of the body at dumpsters and trash cans around Olympia.
Olympia Police Lt. Paul Lower told The Olympian on Thursday that police believed there was enough information initially to arrest Parker. However, the investigation slowed down as the department carried out a second search warrant, collected additional evidence that needed to be analyzed and made requests to various agencies and private companies, he said.
The department is still waiting on lab results but there were concerns the man might try to flee the state in the meantime, according to Lower.
According to court documents, Parker is homeless, does not have a job and returned to Washington in February from California, where he had lived since 2017. Court records show he was convicted of several crimes as a juvenile, the most recent being a conviction for fourth-degree assault, a gross misdemeanor, in 2006.
Olympia police brought the information to a judge, according to Lower, who agreed there was enough there to issue an arrest warrant. Records show police arrested him Wednesday afternoon in northwest Olympia.
According to the prosecutor’s statement of probable cause:
Through interviews, a detective learned Amara Lundy had been living with her mother in May and June of this year. She “described this time as strained,” because of her mother’s drinking and tension between her boyfriend and her mother, “which was only verbal in nature.”
According to the statement, Susan Lundy ultimately forbade Parker from being at her home, “which forced Amara to ‘sneak him in’ so that he could spend the night.’ ” Parker told a detective that Susan Lundy once caught him in Amara Lundy’s bedroom closet.
According to the statement, Amara Lundy didn’t initially or readily talk about her boyfriend’s involvement, until she started using the word “we” when answering the detective’s questions. When confronted, she admitted Parker had helped her after the fact, the document reads.
According to the statement, Amara Lundy told the detective she kept her mother’s body in a yard waste container in the basement for up to a week before making a plan to dismember and dispose of it. She then allegedly told the detective she bought bleach and other items to carry out the plan, and that some of those purchases were made with her boyfriend.
Amara Lundy told the detective she covered the floor of the basement with a tarp before she dismembered her mother’s body and used black plastic bags, duct tape, and a plastic tote to hide and eventually dispose of it, according to the statement.
Parker allegedly described a blue tarp and bottles of bleach in the basement of Susan Lundy’s home and a “rancid” smell to the detective, but denied knowing what a decomposing body would smell like.
According to the statement, he told the detective Amara Lundy had asked him to help her dump some “garbage” from the basement of her mother’s home. He told the detective he helped Lundy move a large object wrapped in black plastic and “described the object as heavy” and that he helped her dispose of four smaller bags in several different locations.
He said Amara Lundy told him this was necessary because they were illegally dumping garbage, the statement reads.
According to the statement, Parker denied knowing about or participating in Susan Lundy’s death and said he did not know they were disposing of her body.
He allegedly told a detective he loved Amara Lundy “and did not ask her any questions or inquire further, in spite of overwhelming evidence that she was disposing of an apparent body.”