"The crime scene was staged, rearranged to look like a suicide," according to forensic pathologist Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds.
Ronda Reynolds (pictured left) fulfilled her childhood dream by becoming a Washington State trooper and firearms instructor. She left the patrol a few months after she married to work in private security.
The gruesome crime scene photo's tell a different story. (if you go to the link, please be advised the photo's are on this site are graphic).
Jerry Berry was Lewis County's lead detective on the case and said "this appeared to have the earmarks of a staged homicide."But Berry faced serious evidence problems because he wasn't called to the scene until two hours after Ronda's body was found, and the crime scene had already been disturbed.
But, seven months after Ronda's death, Ron Reynolds' attorney wrote the department insisting they remove the cloud of suspicion and close the case. And "if you do not then we will." Berry says the sheriff's office caved, closing the case as a suicide over his objections. "They just basically wanted me to let it go, leave it as a suicide, and move on and take on other cases and be done with it," Berry said.
Nearly 10 years after Ronda was found shot to death, a television station in Seattle took an interest in the case, launching their own investigation. The ABC affiliate uncovered evidence and found experts who are convinced Ronda's murder was made to look like a suicide.
Her mother, Barb Thompson has fought to have her daughter's case re-opened. With more twists and turns than a tornado, a Washington court finally granted her motion for a judicial review. All she is asking is for the death certificate be changed to state the truth--homicide.
Detective Jerry Berry and Barb Thompson will also be guests on Justice Interrupted radio, Tuesday, January 20, 2009.