A man suspected of killing a woman in Milton was charged Tuesday in Pierce County.
Prosecutors charged Joshua Ellis with murder in the second degree for the death of Wendi Marie Traynor. Bail was set at $1,000,000.
Investigators believe Traynor was killed by a single gunshot to the head in her Milton apartment on November 3.
Ellis, 27, turned himself in at the King County Jail over the weekend. He was brought back to Pierce County to stand trial.
“More than half of all female homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “We have a felony domestic violence unit that specializes in holding D.V. offenders accountable.”
Police say on November 10, Wendi Traynor’s father, aunt, and uncle went to her apartment in Milton because they hadn’t heard from her since November 3. Their calls had not been returned.
Traynor’s father, who is a co-signer on the lease, was able to obtain a key and entered her apartment. Once inside they found Traynor lying face down on the floor in a pool of dried blood. Traynor’s father called 911.
Investigators found a 10mm bullet casing near the body. Ammunition matching this casing was found in a search of Ellis’s vehicle.
Family members told investigators Traynor had been in a relationship with Ellis for about two years and they moved together to Kentucky in June of this year.
The relationship went sour, and Traynor left. The defendant followed and convinced her to return to Kentucky. In October of this year, Traynor moved back to Washington without Ellis. He eventually followed.
Traynor moved into her apartment November 1. Witnesses reported that Ellis was with her at the time.
On November 3, Traynor texted a friend that she was meeting with her “ex” to discuss the relationship “in person.” No one heard from her again.
Investigators gained access to Ellis’s cell phone records and learned he was in the vicinity of Traynor’s apartment on November 3 from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Police obtained an arrest warrant for Ellis, who later turned himself in to authorities without incident.