RENTON, Wash. – Police have arrested a man and charged him with the murder of a teen who went missing nearly a year ago.
Kathy Chou, 19, left her home on April 18, 2010 and was never heard from again. Friends and family stated she had learning disabilities and was very naive. Police conducted searches and interviewed friends, but the case had gone cold with no leads as to her whereabouts. That is until June 23, a little over a year since Chou was last seen, when a man came to police and told them he was pretty sure he knew what had happened to the teen.
He said that on the night she vanished her ex-boyfriend, 22-year-old Ezekiel J. Watkins, came to his home with dirt and blood on his clothes. Watkins had been interviewed by police before, as he had dated Chou after meeting over the Internet, but he claimed they had broken up months ago. He also had an alibi in the form of a friend who told police on the night Chou went missing, Watkins was at his home.
That friend just happened to be the informant’s roommate and the informant told police they may want to talk to him again. When police interviewed Watkins’ alibi a second time, he started singing a different tune. He told police that on the night Chou disappeared, Watkins had stopped by his home asking to borrow a shovel so that he could bury a pet duck that had died.
Police questioned Watkins again and before long, he was spilling the beans, painting a very disturbing picture of what happened to Chou in what police are calling a “brutal and senseless” murder.
Watkins admitted that he had been thinking about killing Chou for several days. She was allegedly causing trouble between him and his new girlfriend by threatening her and trying to get her friend’s to beat her up. So he lured her to a wooded area and knocked her on the ground before straddling her and pulling out a knife. The girl wasn’t going easy and fought for her life, able to use the knife to cut Watkins. But he was able to get the knife back and used it to stab her in the throat.
“Chou began to bleed copiously from the knife wound and Watkins said that he held his hand on Chou’s throat until he felt her getting cold and she stopped making any sounds or movement,” the detective told the court.
Afterwards, Watkins contacted his alibi and asked for help in disposing the body. The alibi dug a shallow grave and placed Chou’s body inside, but they found she wouldn’t fit. Tired of digging, they solved this problem by breaking her legs. The men then disguised the grave and left the area, Watkins taking the dead girl’s shoes with him.
Using directions given by Watkins and his alibi, a body was recovered from a grave in a bushy area near May Creek Park in Newcastle around the same location police had traced Chou’s last cell phone transmission. Watkins has been charged with murder and is in jail on $1 million bail. More charges may be filed against the alibi as well as Watkins’ girlfriend. Police found Chou’s shoes in her possession, and she admitted that Watkins had told her what he had done to Chou the day after the murder.
The reason the man came forward now? Revenge. He told police that he had always suspected Watkins had something to do with Chou’s disappearance, but only came forward now because Watkins had stolen something from him. I say lock his ass up as well.