Life Sentence Handed Down for Brutal 2016 Kennewick Kidnapping, Murder
The November, 2016 kidnapping and murder of a 69-year-old Kennewick woman has resulted in the suspect spending the rest of their life behind bars.
Theresa Wiltse, a former Walla Walla Prison guard, who lived in Connell, kidnapped Sandra Harris. She and her husband, Randy, owned the Ace Jewelry and Loan store in Kennewick. Throughout the trial, it was learned the couple did not know Wiltse. Why she chose to specifically kidnap the woman still is not exactly known to this day.
Wiltse used a harmonizer to disguise her voice when she called Randy Harris and demanded a ransom for Theresa. A drop was arranged at the Country Mercantile on Highway 395 North of Pasco, and Wiltse was promptly arrested on the spot.
However, Theresa's body was found two days later on Coffin Road just off of Interstate 82. She had been shot several times. Blood evidence and a gun were found in Wiltse's car. Court records had indicated Wiltse had extensive financial problems, which was believed to be behind the kidnapping, but authorities don't know why Wiltse chose Harris. The trial did not take long, she was quickly convicted, and she acted alone.
Her crimes, according to Yaktrinews.com, were labled as 'cold blooded,' and the judge told her he 'could not understand or fathom' what led to commit such a crime.
She will spend the rest of her life in Walla Walla, as Washington state has a moritorium on executions and is likely to do away with the death penalty.