Couple nabbed in SeaTac named suspects in killing of teacher

SEATTLE - A husband and wife arrested Wednesday in SeaTac after ramming a King County deputy's patrol car have been named suspects in the killing of a retired San Francisco-area schoolteacher, police said Friday.

The pair, identified as Darnell Washington, 24, and Tania Washington, 25, also are wanted for an alleged crime spree in Southern California that included Darnell Washington escaping from San Bernardino County jail in August, the shooting of a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy and a series of carjackings.

The retired schoolteacher, Susie Ko, 55, of Hercules, Calif., was found dead on the floor of her home by neighbors on Oct. 5. After her body was found, Hercules police said the only thing that appeared to be missing from the home was the family's Subaru station wagon.

Around 9 a.m. Wednesday, a police officer in SeaTac ran the plate of a Subaru he had never seen in the neighborhood before and found it was reported stolen in California, said King County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Sgt. Cindi West.

But instead of stopping for the officer, the driver took off, ramming the officer's car as it sped away, West said.

With additional officers called to help, police were eventually able to box in the car. The two occupants, Darnell and Tania Washington, were arrested. Police said they found a shotgun in the car.

On Thursday, two Hercules police detectives traveled to Seattle to interview the Washingtons, who they described as persons of interest in Ko's killing and theft of her car.

After the interviews, Hercules police said they now believe that Darnell and Tania Washington are suspects in the homicide. They plan to seek murder and auto theft charges against them in California.

For the time being, the Washingtons remain behind bars at the King County jail.

The killing of Ko shook up officials and residents of Hercules, a mostly residential community of upscale homes and quiet neighborhoods about 23 miles northeast of San Francisco. The homicide was the first in Hercules since 2010, and the city has seen only seen five homicides in the past 12 years.