Patrick Shunn and Monique Patenaude went missing one week after complaining to authorities that a neighbor was squatting near their property, and now police in Washington believe that neighbor and his brother murdered the still-missing Washington couple before fleeing to Mexico.
This week search warrants revealed new information about the disappearance of Shunn and Patenaude, showing a property dispute with brothers John and Tony Reed that police say turned violent. The brothers have been charged with the murder of the couple, prompting a search both for the suspects and for the bodies of the missing couple.
As Q13 Fox noted, the warrant showed that Shunn and Patenaude were afraid of John Reed, their former neighbor.
“The search warrants state the couple told friends John Reed made threats to ‘shoot’ them and acted ‘crazy’ toward them over a long-standing property dispute.
“John Reed used to own the property next to the couple but after the Oso landslide in 2014, Snohomish County bought Reed’s property. Neighbors say he was angry over the damage and loss of his land.”
The search warrant also showed that the Reed brothers may have prepared to murder Shunn and Patenaude, buying a host of items at a lumber store including rope, clips, rubber gloves, and towels. The police found more evidence on Reed’s former property, including guns. Inside Reed’s former home they also discovered dried blood in a bathtub.
Authorities are still searching for the bodies of Patrick Shunn and Monique Patenaude, focusing on a remote area near the couple’s farm. They had previously found the couple’s heavily damaged car at the bottom of a steep embankment nearby, where police believe it was either driven or pushed off the edge. Inside the vehicle was more dried blood.
Police said they believe Patrick Shunn and Monique Patenaude were kidnapped and murdered by John and Tony Reed, who then returned to their former property.
The Reed brothers, who have been charged with first-degree murder, may be on the way to the Mexican border, ABC News reported. Detectives in Phoenix found a car belonging to the Reed brothers, and a license plate reader captured them driving toward the Mexican border.
“The exact location of the Reed brothers is unknown, but there is reason to believe they may be trying to flee to Mexico,” the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office in Washington said (via ABC News).
The property dispute between Reed and the missing couple seems to have arisen after the 2014 Oso landslide, which left 43 people dead. John Reed told the Seattle Times that the landslide wiped out his front yard, and last month the county purchased his home to ease risks of future flooding. But Shunn and Patenaude told authorities that Reed was squatting at his former home, which led authorities to warn him to leave.
The missing couple had past property disputes with John Reed, who allegedly threatened to shoot the couple after they cut brush between the two properties in 2013.
“Shunn and Patenaude had long worried about getting on the wrong side of John Reed, who lived a little ways up an old logging road from their 21-acre spread in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains,” ABC News noted. “When they sued other neighbors over a property dispute more than two years ago, they avoided naming him as a defendant because they didn’t want to irk him, their former lawyer, Thomas Adams, said Monday.”
Police said they believe Tony and John Reed are armed and dangerous, and that the brothers are driving a 2002 gold Acura 3.2TL with Arizona plate BNN-9968.
Anyone with information on the location of Patrick Shunn and Monique Patenaude is asked to call the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office anonymous tip line at 425-388-3845.
[Image via Police Handout]