Lake City murder may have been random attack

Police investigate after a woman was found dead in a Lake City house fire Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. (Photo: KOMO News)

SEATTLE - A Bellevue man accused of stabbing a Lake City woman to death allegedly picked his victim at random, a source tells KOMO.

On Wednesday, Michael Giordano, 23, was charged with first-degree aggravated murder in the death. He is being held without bail.

The victim, identified by her son and friends as Jennifer Ayers, was found dead inside her house Monday morning. The 63-year-old woman lived alone was remembered by loved ones as a helpful neighbor who walked her small dog daily.

Neighbor Monica Rappin said she had lived on the street for decades.

Seattle police said an officer went to Ayers’ house for a “welfare check” around 10 a.m. Monday. Hearing a fire alarm and seeing smoke officers went into the home through an unlocked door.

They found her body. She had been stabbed and an attempt was made to set her on fire, court documents say.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police responded to the slaying in force – SWAT teams, homicide detectives, patrol officers, a search robots and dogs, even a King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter. Police even evacuated the next door neighbor’s home to search for a suspect, one was never found in Lake City.

Court documents sow that soon after finding Ayers’ body officers a person of interest.

In the documents show a man identified as Giordano talked to Seattle Fire Department medics just blocks from Ayers’ house about 90 minutes before her body was found by police.

A man in the 10700 block of 36th Avenue Northeast had dialed 911 around 8:40 a.m. to report seeing a man bleeding from his hands on the stretch of roadway in front of his home. A member of the family talked to the bleeding man and he said he had been mugged near Nathan Hale High School, the documents said.

The man said he was from Bellevue and was lost, the documents said. He identified himself as Michael Giordan, court documents say.

Seattle Fire Department medics showed up and tried to treat him for hand wounds, the documents said.

About an hour later the man who dialed 911 reached out to authorities again. He told the dispatcher he had forgotten to mention that the man had a purse with him and was emptying it in the street. Police arrived and found Ayers’ credit card and QFC grocery discount card, the documents said.

It was the cards that led police to Ayers’ home that day, the documents said.

At around 5 p.m. police were called to Third Avenue South and South Main Street, in Pioneer Square, for a report of Seattle firefighters talking to a man who said he was Giordano. The man had a bandage around his hand, the documents said.

Police talked to Giordano and he told them that the blood on his hands did not belong to him and that he had killed a woman, the court documents said. He said he went to her house for a robbery but then attacked her, the documents said.

A records search indicates Giordano has spent time in mental health court and has a history of traffic violations.

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