Elderly Humptulips couple attacked with crossbow, hatchet

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @Drewmikk

KING5.com

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 7 at 6:41 PM

HUMPTULIPS, Wash. - When heading north on Highway 101, the first house you come to in Humptulips is the Aldrich's place.
 
The manicured yard is a trademark of the family that's been here for decades.

"Just nice, older people," said Karen Willis.
 
Neighbors are just sick about what happened to Ralph and June Aldrich.

Prosecutors say 31-year-old John Chase was walking down the highway when he saw Ralph Aldrich, 88, in his back yard. Detectives say Chase shot and killed Aldrich with a crossbow and then went inside the home and repeatedly hit 83-year-old June Aldrich with a hatchet.

He then stole their truck and drove to a friend's house.

"He told his friend he was trying to get away, that demons were after him, he'd been living in the woods for several days, that he had just killed two demons and stole their truck,” said Undersheriff Rick Scott.

The friend learned the truck was owned by a couple in Humptulips. When he drove the truck out there he found Ralph dead in the yard.

When police arrived there later, they found June still alive in the house, approximately 18 hours after the attack.

"They were subjected to the most graphic and horrific violence we've dealt with in a long time … and there's absolutely no reason for it,” said Scott..

Chase is charged with 2nd degree murder. He could face another murder charge if June Aldrich dies. She is in critical condition at Harborview’s Intensive Care Unit.

According to police, Chase was living in the woods in Grays Harbor County last week.

Chase is held on $750,000 bail.

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