Reward Offered In Murder Of Hikers

Reward Offered In Murder Of Hikers
SEATTLE - To try to solve a terrible crime, a Seattle father and husband wants our help. Mary Cooper's husband, Susanna Stodden's father, didn't plan on going public about the murders of his loved ones on a hiking trail. But David Stodden said that talking about it is the one thing he can do to catch their killer.

"I'm not looking for publicity," Stodden says. "Well, I am looking for publicity to help the police."

In his time of grief Stodden invited us to his garden to ask for the public's help solving this horrible crime.

"I was really against this at first, but I guess if there's more media and publicity and somebody sees something, they might remember something and give us a tip," Stodden said.

Investigators say Cooper and her daughter Susanna were found shot to death a week ago on the popular Pinnacle Lake trail in the Mount Pilchuk area east of Everett. Other hikers discovered the bodies just hours after they were killed.

There's now a combined reward from CrimeStoppers and the Mountaineers club for $6,000.

"A couple of people told me that night. That the kind of people that do these horrendous acts that maybe they'll have a little more loyalty to money than they do to each other," Stodden said.

The Forest Service road to the trail remains closed so investigators can continue to search for clues.

The King County Sheriff's Office is assisting Snohomish County and so is the State Patrol, the U.S. Forest Service, the state Department of Natural Resources and trained volunteers.

Stodden says he'll leave the investigation to the pros. He's going to concentrate on going on with life believing it's what Mary and Susanna would have wanted.

"I can only do so much. I recognize that," he said. "I've got to go on with my life. I'm pretty confident someone will be caught, I really am."

Stodden says he thinks the reward will help because he believes this was a random killing by someone who stalked his wife and daughter up the trail.

He also says their belongings were untouched so robbery does not appear to be a motive. But that's pure speculation.

Police aren't commenting on the specifics of the investigation.

A public memorial set for Sunday at 2:00 p.m. has been moved to the Ballard High School gym because the crowd could be bigger than the family first thought.

Anyone with information can call the sheriff tipline at 425- 388- 3845 or 1-800-CRIME13.