Prosecutors took another step Tuesday toward filing charges against an Auburn man suspected of killing his former girlfriend, possibly by pushing her off of a third-story balcony.
The man, who has not yet been charged, appeared in King County Superior Court on Tuesday at a preliminary hearing.
Auburn police arrested the 19-year-old early Monday, just hours after a 20-year-old woman, identified in court documents as Kathleen M. Eyle, was found dead in her apartment at 3702 Auburn Way S.
According to court documents, the man called 911 about 3:20 a.m. alarmed that Eyle had stopped breathing. Medics arrived at her home to find Eyle dead and noticed scratches on the young woman's neck.
Neighbors told police they'd heard sounds of a fight in the third-story apartment hours before but had not called police, according to court documents. They also told police they'd heard someone or something fall from the balcony; after the fall, they heard a man running down the steps, then returning to the apartment.
Police found dirt and grass in Eyle's hair and clothes consistent with the ground beneath the balcony.
Confronted by police, the man asserted he and Eyle had been "partying" and denied any role in her death.
"When asked if he strangled Kathleen yesterday, he asked for an attorney, and the interview ended," Detective Randy Clark said in court documents. Clark went on to classify the slaying as an act of domestic violence, which could mean a longer prison sentence for the man if convicted.
Eyle's family told investigators that the man, her boyfriend of more than two years, had previously beaten her. One altercation in which the man struck her with an object left a scar on the young woman's face.