Northwest NEWS

January 29,2001

Features

Police seek help with murder

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by Jeanette Knutson
   Staff Writer
   The four-week-long investigation into the puzzling Jan. 4 murder of Mike Emert, the Eastside real estate agent slain while presumably showing a home in Woodinville, moves forward.
   Jeffrey John Solo, a focus of the investigation from the beginning, remains a person of interest.
   According to King County Sheriff's Sgt. John Urquhart, "he is not excluded nor included as a suspect."
   Released photos of Emert's personal jewelry, an expensive watch and wedding ring, both missing from the homicide scene, have generated no leads. The victim's wallet, black 2000 Cadillac Escalade SUV and cell phone, also missing from the crime scene, were tracked down in the days and weeks since the tragedy. Police say these items have not yet provided further clues to the brutal stabbing.
   The focus of the inquiry shifted last week when the Sheriff's Office distributed sketches of two additional persons of interest being sought.
   The first person is described as a white male, in his late 50s to early 60s, with dark graying hair, light complexion and a large nose. He was seen on the day prior to the murder at a home in Redmond that Emert also showed to prospective buyers.
   Police are not sure if Emert was also at this house in the 9300 block of 218th Avenue Northeast on the same day.
   Nor do authorities know if the man sought was a client of Emert's. The person in question was driving a tan or orange 1970s to 1980s Toyota Celica-type vehicle. The car was very dirty with a black grille and noisy muffler.
   The second person sought is a white male, 40- to 50-years-old, about 5 feet 6 inches, medium build, with a tan complexion. He was wearing a short dark jacket, light khaki pants and had a brown wooden cane.
   This man was seen on Jan. 3 or 4 at about 3 p.m. at the Kirkland Post Office in the 700 block of Fourth Avenue. He was walking away from a black Cadillac Escalade, which was parked in the post office lot.
   As this person with the cane left the SUV, a gray-haired white male remained in the vehicle.
   Police are asking the public for assistance in seeking these two persons of interest who may have information about the homicide.
   In addition, detectives -10 of whom are working on the case full time - believe someone may have seen the victim's stolen black SUV, fitted with five-spoke chrome wheels, Washington license number 555 LPJ, on Jan. 3 or 4 as it traveled through Woodinville, Redmond and Kirkland.
   Detectives would also like to locate a clean white van that was seen at NE 195th and 156th Avenue NE, about a block from the crime scene, at about 12:40 p.m. on the day of the killing.
   The driver was a male wearing glasses. This man is not a person of interest, but he may have seen something, Urquhart said.
   Furthermore, police ask that anyone who had any contact with Emert from Dec. 1 to Jan. 4 be it by phone, e-mail or in person call the Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit at (206) 296-7530.
   In light of the murder, Washington's real estate industry has joined to offer a reward in honor of their fellow realtor.
   The Northwest Multiple Listing Service Inc., Windermere Real Estate, Washington Association of Realtors, The Seattle-King County Association of Realtors, John L. Scott and Coldwell Banker Bain are offering up to $50,000 for information or evidence leading to the apprehension, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Emert's murder.
   Anyone with information that may help solve this crime should contact the King County Sheriff's Office at (206) 296-3311 or by calling 911.