SPOKANE - Nearly eight months to the day since her disappearance, detectives with the Cowell Homicide Task Force have arrested a Wenatchee man for the killing of MacKenzie Cowell.
29-year-old Christopher Scott Wilson of Wenatchee was interviewed and arrested on a charge of 2nd Degree Murder Wednesday morning. Authorities say that both Wilson and Cowell were students at the Academy of Hair Design and the two left the school at about the same time on February 9.
It was the last time Cowell was seen alive.
A massive multi-agency search and rescue operation was launched in the wake of her disappearance; Cowell?s body was found several days later along the banks of the Columbia River in the Crescent Bar area 20 miles outside of Wenatchee.
During the investigation students at the Academy of Hair Design, Wilson included, were asked to give DNA samples to detectives as part of their investigation. On September 23 forensic experts at the State Patrol Crime Lab in Cheney matched Wilson?s DNA to a piece of duct tape found near MacKenzie Cowell?s body. Cowell?s blood was also found on the duct tape.
Wenatchee Police Chief Tom Robbins says that the Cowell Homicide Task Force searched Salon Couture , located at 404 South Chelan Street in Wenatchee, as part of a series of search warrants they were executing in relation to Wilson's arrest. Wilson was arrested at Salon Couture, where he lived in a basement apartment.
Investigators have been on the scene since 8 a.m. Wednesday taking statements from people at the salon while members of the State Patrol Crime Lab were also searching the property.
Wenatchee radio station KPQ reports that the salon is about a block-and-a-half from where Cowell was last seen on a security camera video on February 9.
While Wilson and Cowell attended the Academy of Hair Design they were not friends. Wilson reportedly attended Cowell's memorial service at Town Toyota Center and comforted close friends of MacKenzie's.
While a suspect has finally been arrested in MacKenzie Cowell's murder, the task force that has been hunting for her killer says their work is far from over. Somewhere at the top of their To Do list is working to figure out what motive the suspect had to kill MacKenzie Cowell.
The Cowell Homicide Task Force has scheduled a press conference for 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Wenatchee Convention Center. More details on the investigation and Wilson's arrest will be released at that press conference.
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