A former Enumclaw resident was one of two victims identified in a Tacoma double homicide, one of the most gruesome murder cases in recent regional history.
Brutally slain were Theresa Greenhalgh, 31, and Mary Buras, 21.
Greenhalgh spent her younger years in Black Diamond before moving with her family to Enumclaw. Then known as Theresa Casteel, she was a member of the Enumclaw High School class of 2003; she still has family in the community.
The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office has pieced together a horrific end to her life, as part of charges brought against 32-year-old Matthew R. Leupold. He has been charged with two counts of aggravated murder and first-degree arson.
Due the nature of the crime, he could face the death penalty, according to information released by the Prosecutor’s Office.
“Before I make a decision on the death penalty, we will gather as much information as possible about the defendant, the victims, and the surrounding circumstances,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “We always want to make the right decisions for the right reasons.
Greenhalgh’s death, and the case against Leupold, began unfolding just before 3 a.m. on Jan. 6, when the Tacoma Fire Department responded to a house fire.
After extinguishing the blaze, officers found two badly-burned bodies in an upstairs bathroom, one in a bathtub and one nearby. Investigators determined both women had been beaten and decapitated.
Soon apprehended, Leupold said he was at the Tacoma residence with the victims, his sister Lindsey Leupold, 36, and her 15-year-old son. Leupold said all were using drugs and, at one point, he became “possessed” and heard voices instructing him to kill Greenhalgh. He admitted to beating both women with a hammer and decapitating both.
Leupold related how his sister returned the following day to help clean the home. And, that night, how his nephew arrived at the home to help get rid of evidence and set the structure on fire.
Lindsey Leupold was charged with rendering criminal assistance and her bail was set at $500,000. Her son was remanded to juvenile court, expected to be charged with arson and rendering criminal assistance.
Leupold, a convicted felon who had recently been released from prison, is being held without bail.