JUNE 30, 1997
A reward has been offered for information on Arlene Jensen's killer.
by Andrew Walgamott
As the son of a murdered Kingsgate woman said on an afternoon talk show last week, there is still a missing person out there. It's the person who knows what happened to 53-year-old Arlene Jensen at the end of the Memorial Day weekend.
To that end, David Jensen and Arlene's boyfriend, Jim Melton, have put together a reward of $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of whoever is responsible for Arlene's death.
Her body was spotted by passengers on the dinner train when it stopped at the crossing at NE 145th Street June 21, less than one mile from her Compton Meadows Condominium. The body was found face-down in tall grass 20 feet from the train tracks on marshy ground. According to King County Police spokesperson Joanne Elledge, the body appeared to have been dumped there. The King County Medical Examiner's office determined Arlene was murdered. Cause of death has yet to be determined. She had been missing for nearly one month.
Last week, David returned to the place where his mother was found. Flowers had been placed in the earth at the site. "I talked with my mom when I was there," he said. David, who has been remarkably composed with the media during the ordeal, was anxious for the search for his mother's killer to begin.
"How can we be patient when there's somebody out there who killed my mom? But we have to. If the investigation gets goofed up, we don't get a second chance," he said. He empathized with families of other missing persons, some of whom he joined on television last week. "I can only imagine how difficult it is for people who don't find their loved ones," David said.
Seattle-King County Crime Stoppers and Helly Hansen, Arlene's employer of the past 11 years, also joined in contributing funds for the reward.
Anyone with information on Arlene's murder can call Crime Stoppers at (206) 343-2020. All calls are anonymous and rewards are paid with cash. Tipsters are never subpoenaed either, according to Diana Russell at Crime Stoppers.
Russell said her office was where families and police turn to for help when all other leads have panned out. "We're the end of the rope when the detectives don't know where to go," Russell said. She said that 80 percent of callers to Crime Stoppers have direct knowledge of the event. "Instead of going to the cops, they come to us," Russell said.
Police are waiting for state crime lab's results on forensic evidence collected near the body. It is hoped that will direct them in their search for Arlene's killer, according to Det. Jim Doyon.
The Jensen family held a funeral over the past weekend. "We're happy she was given back to us," David said.