Charge: Ex-boyfriend killed Milton woman, 27, with gunshot to the head

KOMO photo

TACOMA, Wash. - The suspect accused of killing a young woman in Milton was the victim's ex-boyfriend, according to newly released court documents charging him with second-degree murder in her death.

The court files say the suspect, Joshua Kioni Ellis, killed the victim, Wendi Marie Traynor, 27, with a single gunshot to the head on Nov. 3 at her apartment in Milton after she tried to break up with him.

Her death was discovered on Nov. 10 by family members who became concerned after they had not heard from her for a week. They found her decomposing body face down in a pool of dried blood at her apartment and called 911. Responding officers found a 10 mm shell casing near the body; a spent bullet was also recovered.

An investigation found that Traynor and the suspect had been in a relationship for about two years, and that they moved to Louisville, Ky., together in June. In the following months, Traynor tried twice to break up with Ellis, but he convinced her to return to Kentucky with him both times.

Finally, in October, Traynor tried to break up with Ellis for good and moved back to Washington state. She moved into her new apartment in the 2800 block of Queen's Way in Milton on Nov. 1, but Ellis followed her there and was seen around her apartment by witnesses, court documents say.

Traynor texted friends on Nov. 3 to say that she was meeting with her "ex" to discuss their relationship "in person." That was the last time anyone heard from her.

After Traynor's death was discovered, investigators located Ellis' car, which had been repossessed. Three of the tires were matched to a fourth tire found at the victim's apartment, and ammunition in the car matched the shell casing found by Traynor's body, according to court records.

Detective also learned from a friend of the victim that Ellis had hit her twice in the past and had threatened to harm her family if she tried to leave him, court documents reveal.

A check of phone records also found that Ellis was in the vicinity of Traynor's apartment on Nov. 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., according to the case file.

At that point, police asked for help from the public and other law enforcement agencies to track down Ellis. He turned himself in to the King County Jail on Saturday night and was placed under arrest.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off