Detectives Ask for Public’s Help in Murder of Woodinville Man

  • Written by Briana Gerdeman Contributing Writer
Photo courtesy of King County Sheriff’s Dept. Woodinville Police Chief Sydney Jackson (second from left) confers with other Woodinville police officers and a King County sheriff following the discovery of a man’s body last Friday.

Woodinville- King County Sheriff’s Detectives are asking for the public’s help in the investigation of a Woodinville man who was found murdered in his home on Friday.

Earl Cossey, 71, was found dead in his home around 5:30pm last Friday by family members who went to check on him when they had not been able to reach him for a few days.

Family members last saw him alive late Monday night the 22nd of April.  Detectives are asking anyone who had contact with Cossey between Monday the 22nd and Friday the 26th,  or knows who he associated with to call the King County Sheriff’s Office at (206) 296-3311. This line is open 24 hours a day.\

_________Original Story (published April 29, 2013)___________

Additionally Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest in this crime.  In order to receive the reward you must call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)


Police are investigating a homicide at a Woodinville home owned by Earl Cossey, the man who packed the parachutes for airplane hijacker D. B. Cooper in 1971 and has since worked with the FBI to solve the case.

A family member discovered the man’s body at Cossey’s home around 5:30 on the evening of Friday, April 26 and called the police, Woodinville Police Chief Sydney Jackson said.

The medical examiner has not yet determined the man’s identity or the cause of death, but will probably release that information early this week.

Police originally described it as a “suspicious death,” but on Saturday, April 27, confirmed that it was a homicide.

Other news sources, including KOMO News and King 5 News, have reported that the man had head injuries, but Jackson said she couldn’t comment on what made the death suspicious.

“The scene and surroundings are not consistent with a natural death,” she said.

Officers obtained a search warrant for the house, in the 15000 block of NE 192nd Street, on Friday night and processed the crime scene, Jackson said.

A team of search and rescue volunteers helped search the area on Saturday.

“We don’t know if there are suspects yet,” Jackson said.

Cossey used to teach at Leota Junior High School, according to Q13 Fox News. He also played a small part in the still-unsolved mystery of D. B. Cooper.

In 1971, a man known as D. B. Cooper hijacked a passenger plane from Portland, Ore., to Seattle with a bomb in his briefcase. He demanded $200,000 in $20 bills and four parachutes. He released the passengers in Seattle, then asked the crew to fly him to Mexico. Somewhere near the Washington-Oregon border, he jumped out.

Despite searches by the FBI and by amateurs, Cooper has never been found, and investigators are not sure he survived the jump.

Cossey, a skydiving instructor at the time, packed the four parachutes that were given to D. B. Cooper. In the years since, he has worked with the FBI to examine parachutes that were found near the site of Cooper’s jump, according to an Associated Press story.

In 2008, after examining another parachute that wasn’t Cooper’s, Cossey told the AP: “They keep bringing me garbage.”

Since the parachute was discovered near the beginning of April, he played a prank and told reporters who called on April Fools’ Day that the parachute did belong to Cooper.

“I’m having fun with it; what the heck,” Cossey said in the 2008 AP story.

Jackson said the police don’t know if there is any connection between the recent homicide and the D. B. Cooper case.

She said there is no reason for neighbors to be concerned about their safety, but she urged anyone who sees something suspicious to report it to the police.

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