16yr-old Kenyan Suspect found dead, another arrested in murder of a store owner in Tacoma washington

The body of a 16-year-old boy of Kenyan origin was on Monday found washed up on the shoreline at Chinook Landing Marina along Marine View Drive in northeast Tacoma, Washington.

Franklin Wainaina Thuo’s body was found a day after he was allegedly involved in a robbery incident in the same area.

Suspects’ getaway car found outside Pierce County

One teenage suspect was found dead and another arrested in connection with the murder of a beloved Puyallup convenience store owner.

The 79-year-old matriarch was shot and killed just after 5 p.m. Saturday when two men robbed Soon Ja Nam at the Handy Corner Store on 112th St. E. in Puyallup.

Witnesses told investigators two men entered the store, pulled out handguns and threatened Nam, but even after she gave them the money one of them followed her toward the store office and shot her in the back.

Two teenage suspects

Franklin Wainaina Thuo’

Detectives with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday that the body of a 16-year-old suspect washed ashore Monday morning at Chinook Landing Marina in northeast Tacoma.

Investigators said the teen died of a single gunshot wound and had been in the water for several hours.

Late Tuesday and early Wednesday, detectives tracked down the second suspect, also age 16, in a parking lot in northeast Tacoma. Officers arrested the suspect and booked him into the Pierce County Jail.

Authorities said the suspect was transferred to Remann Hall Pierce County Juvenile Detention Center

where he is being held without bail.

Detectives said the investigation is ongoing and they are continuing interviews and serving search warrants.

Searching for a better life

Soon Ja Nam escaped from North Korea more than 50 years ago in search of a better life.

Her son, Tohyon Nam, told Q13 that she and her husband made it to South Korea, where Soon Ja Nam became a college professor. Still, she wanted more for her family.

“Through that hardship of occupation, hardship of war, blowing up bombs here, bombs there, she survived all that,” Tohyon Nam said. “She brought us here.”

Here in Puyallup, over the decades the Nam family made the Handy Corner Store a neighborhood hub, riding on the smiles and kindness of Soon Ja Nam.

“Everyone around here loved her,” customer Nancy Prime said. “It’s a small area. We all knew her. We all loved her.”

Beloved 79-year-old store owner shot and killed in Pierce County remembered for being mom to many

Friends, family and customers of a beloved 79-year-old store owner who was like a mom to many honored her life at a vigil Sunday night at the Handy Corner Market on 112th St E in Puyallup.

79-year-old Soon Ja Nam was shot to death during a robbery on Saturday.

“If I walked in there and didn’t have enough money for something, whatever it was, she’d say, ‘You look thirsty, You take this.’ She was just mom and well known to everybody in the neighborhood as you can see by the showing of people,” said Julie Domstad.

Pierce County Sheriff’s Detectives have located the getaway car used by the suspects. They are only saying it was found outside Pierce County thanks to tips. They are now processing it for evidence. The two suspects are described as dark complected black males in their 20’s, approximately 6’ tall and 200 lbs., wearing beanie caps and white hospital-style surgical masks. The shooter was seen wearing a gray hoodie, black sweatpants, and gray tennis shoes. The driver had a scruffy beard and was seen wearing a blue hoodie, gray sweatpants, and white shoes.

They also have a message for one of the suspects.

“Through our investigation, we’ve determined that somebody that probably drove the car, thought they were going to go get quick money and ended up being on the bad end of something they didn’t want to happen so we are reaching out to that person right now and you have 24 hours to call us,” said Det. Ed Troyer.

Otherwise, they will face the same murder charges as the shooter.

You can also donate to raise the Crime Stoppers reward amount for information leading to an arrest in the case. As of Monday, the reward had reached $2,500.

If you have any information on who was involved, submit an anonymous tip at or by using the P3 Tips App on your cell phone. You can also call 1-800-222-TIPS.



%d bloggers like this: