TACOMA, Wash. – A man was charged with murder and arson Wednesday in a double homicide in Tacoma, in which both victims were decapitated.
Matthew Ryan Leupold, 32, of Olympia was charged with two counts of aggravated murder in the first degree and arson in the first degree.
Leupold told detectives he was at a home in the 3700 block of South Yakima Street in Tacoma, where the murders took place Jan. 4, according to probable cause documents. He was upstairs in the bedroom doing drugs with the two victims, 22-year-old Mary Buras and 31-year-old Theresa Greenhalgh, his sister, 36-year-old Lindsey Marie Leupold, and a juvenile, who’s related to the Leupolds.
Leupold said he began hearing voices that “told him to ‘kill’ her,” according to documents. He struck Greenhalgh first in the head, followed by Buras. Lindsey Leupold told investigators that her brother said, “Nobody snitches on the mob,” while punching Greenhalgh.
Lindsey Leupold and the juvenile told investigators they went to another room while Matthew Leupold assaulted Buras and Greenhalgh.
Over the next hour, Matthew Leupold told investigators he dragged the two women to the bathroom and beheaded them.
Matthew and Lindsey Leupold and the juvenile told detectives they returned to the scene the next day to clean up the murders. Matthew Leupold said in the early hours of Jan. 6, they tried to light the house on fire to remove evidence. The juvenile told detectives he and Leupold fled the home, each with a backpack.
At 2:46 a.m. that same day, Tacoma Fire responded to the house fire and discovered the two burned bodies in the bathroom. When detectives arrived on the scene, they found the head of one of the victims in the bathroom, but the head of the other victim was not at the scene.
Later the juvenile led detectives to another location, where another head from one of the victims was found in a backpack.
Because of the nature of the crime, it is a potential death penalty case, according to a release from the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office.
Lindsey Leupold was charged with rendering criminal assistance in the first degree. The juvenile is expected to be charged with arson and rendering criminal assistance. He's due in court Thursday.
Matthew Leupold is a convicted felon, most recently incarcerated for firearms related charges.