Alaska man arrested for 1985 murders of Lewis County couple

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by TRAVIS PITTMAN and DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @Drewmikk

KING5.com

Posted on July 9, 2012 at 9:06 AM

Updated Monday, Jul 9 at 5:13 PM

An Alaska man was arrested Sunday for the 1985 murders of an elderly Lewis County, Wash, couple.

Rick Riffe, 53, of King Salmon, Alaska, is being extradited back to Washington for the murders of Wilhelmina "Minnie" and Edward "Ed" Maurin.

On Dec. 19, 1985, family members reported that Minnie, 83, and Ed, 81, were not home for a family Christmas party. The next day, witnesses spotted the couple’s parked vehicle. Investigators found large blood stains and the keys still in the ignition.

The Maurins' bodies were found on Christmas Eve 1985 by a passerby. Detectives believed they were shot with a shotgun and then dragged into the woods.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office says detectives believe Rick Riffe and his late brother, John, kidnapped the Maurins from their home, drove them to Sterling Savings and Loan in Chehalis and forced Ed Maurin to withdraw $8,500 in cash.

The sheriff’s office says the Riffe brothers were the primary suspects throughout the investigation, but there was not probable cause for their arrests. Over time, additional evidence developed and witnesses came forward. Detectives feel many witnesses did not speak up during the initial investigation for fear the Riffe brothers would retaliate.

The brothers both moved to Alaska in 1987. John Riffe died the week before the sheriff’s office bought tickets to travel to Alaska to arrest him and his brother.

The Maurins' son, Dennis Haddaler, says the arrest fulfills a promise he made to his parents.

"At their funeral, I laid my hand on their casket and said we'll find out who did this," Haddaler said.

Haddaler helped pay for a private investigator over the years. He said the family will never have closure, but he feels justice has been served.

"People should never give up hope. There's always hope out there," said Haddaler.
 

 

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