A 62-year-old man has been charged in connection with the deaths of a young couple who were found dismembered inside suitcases in Seattle, People reports. Their bodies were initially discovered on June 19, wrapped in garbage bags and stuffed inside some suitcases. They were first discovered by teenagers who went to the location after the Randonautica app took them there, and when they discovered the suitcases they filmed the incident and put it on TikTok.
Michael Lee Dudley, a Washington landlord, has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Jessica Lewis, 35, and Austin Wenner, 27. It is suspected that they were both killed by Dudley on June 16. As of right now, he has been booked into King County Jail, with his bail set at $5 million. Police say that Lewis, who is a mother of four, had been shot a number of times. Wenner, meanwhile, died of a single gunshot wound.
The charging documents for Dudley indicate that Lewis and Wenner had been renting a room in Dudley's house, and that they had struggled to make the $1,500 monthly rent. On June 9, the three of them allegedly got into an argument after he said he wanted them to move out. One neighbor said they heard a male voice say, "Please don't do this, just let me leave." Bullets and blood were found in the room the couple had stayed.
It's unclear whether police believe the motive behind the killings was rent-oriented, but the charging documents suggest that Dudley appeared to be angry at the victims. "While the precise motive for this crime is not yet fully known, the evidence to date shows that the defendant was angry with the victims for not paying rent and for bringing potential criminal activity to the Ambaum home," the documents read.
In the footage uploaded to TikTok, viewed over 30 million times in total, one teen can be seen attempting to open one of the bags with a stick. The disturbing footage remained on TikTok for almost two months before it was taken down on Aug. 22, although it's not clear if the uploader or TikTok removed the clip. Originally, TikTok stated the video did not violate the app's guidelines.