Patrick Shunn and Monique Patenaude were murdered by brothers John and Tony Reed, police in Washington said Sunday in the grim update of the missing couple.
The 45-year-old Shunn and his wife, 46-year-old Patenaude, were last seen on Monday and reported missing the next day when they never showed up to a concert they were supposed to attend with neighbors, KOMO-TV reported.
Now the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said they believe that a property dispute led the Reed brothers to murder the couple. They are calling on the public to help find the brothers, who are convicted felons and believed to be armed and dangerous.
“The public should absolutely be worried,” Sheriff Ty Trenary said according to ABC News.
Police had ramped up the search for Patrick Shunn and Monique Patenaude this week after investigators found their abandoned and heavily damaged car at the bottom of an embankment in a wooded, rural area. The discovery prompted police to start a massive search in the area, with law enforcement officials searching the woods and a sheriff’s helicopter surveying the area from above.
Authorities said the search would be a difficult one.
“It’s a very difficult place to get to, even on foot,” said sheriff’s spokeswoman Shari Ireton according to the Seattle Times. “Whatever the vehicles reveal will lead us to our next step.”
Many friends and family had a bad feeling after Patrick Shunn and Monique Patenaude went missing this week. The couple had no apparent problems, and those close to them said it was out of character for them to disappear without warning. It also surprised neighbors who noticed that the couple’s dogs and livestock were left unattended.
Patrick’s brother, Erik, even said on social media this week that he had “a bad gut feeling on this one.”
Police said on Sunday that evidence collected from the missing couple’s cars as well John Reed’s former home led them to conclude that Shunn and Patenaude had been murdered over a property dispute.
Previous reports cited court records showing that Shunn and Patenaude sought a restraining order against a neighbor they said had harassed them and trespassed on their property with dogs and recreational vehicles. The petition was dismissed by a local court commissioner after deciding that the trespassing by dogs was unintentional.
Police said they are now engaged in two searches — one for the bodies of Patrick Shunn and Monique Patenaude, and the other for suspected murderers John and Tony Reed.
“The recovery of Patrick and Monique is our agency’s number one priority right now, for the sake of their families,” Trenary said. “Our second priority is getting the Reed brothers into custody and off the streets.”
ABC News had details of the search for the Reed brothers.
“The brothers are believed to have a car belonging to their parents — a red 2007 Volkswagen EOS Coupe with Washington plate AXH5106.
“John Reed is 5’8″ and 190 pounds with hazel eyes and gray hair. Tony Reed is 5’11” and 150 pounds with green eyes and gray hair.”
Police said they believe John and Tony Reed were in the Ellensburg area this weekend, though their current location is not known. They are also asking for anyone with information on the location of Patrick Shunn and Monique Patenaude to call the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office anonymous tipline at 425-388-3845.
[Image via police handout]