Spokane Major Crimes detectives have arrested Jason Flett for the murder of Ramona Childress, who was declared missing a year ago this week.
Detectives, acting on information provided by a witness, located a grave site near Elk and are in the process of recovering human remains.
Flett, 27, a six-time convicted felon, was arrested on a second degree murder charge for Childress' killing Wednesday. Childress, 27, was reported missing a year ago Thursday. Her mother said the last time she saw her daughter was on October 27, 2012 when she dropped off her two children.
Flett was Childress' boyfriend; Childress had a tattoo on her right arm that said 'Jason Flett.' According to authorities, Flett had become concerned that Childress was going to tell police about some home invasions robberies that he was allegedly involved in during the fall of 2012. She was reportedly killed and her body transported and buried on some wooded property in the vicinity of 17000 E. Walters Road.
"Flett was concerned that Ramona was going to notify police that he had been involved in some home invasion robberies and that's why I believe he wanted to kill her," Spokane Police Lieutenant Mark Griffiths said.
Authorities said that Flett knew the previous owners of the property.
In late October, detectives developed additional information about the murder and spoke with a witness who took them to the property in Elk and confirmed he had helped Flett bury Childress and directed them to the grave site, Griffiths added.
Major Crimes detectives are executing a search warrant on the property in Elk where they were directed by the witness to where Childress' remains are located. They are currently excavating the grave site and recovering human remains, though additional forensic testing will need to be done to confirm whether or not Childress' remains have been found.
According to court records police sought an arrest warrant against him for Childress' killing Tuesday and executed it Wednesday.
Flett made his first appearance in court Thursday on an unrelated second degree assault charge Thursday. In that case he is accused of his assaulting his girlfriend with a crowbar while in his car on September 20. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance for Childress' killing Friday.
Childress was the mother of two boys, ages three and six years old. Abe Carroll, Ramona's brother, said Thursday afternoon the apparent discovery of his sister's remains near Elk ends a terrible year of waiting and wondering what happened.
"Ramona was a loving mother, she had a kind heart and a great smile. She was always, always willing to help others no matter what it might be," Carroll said.
Carroll says Ramona was studying at Spokane Community College to be a phlebotomist so she could get a good paying job and better care for her children. Her children are now being raised by their grandmother.