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Friday, September 5, 1997 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Suspect In Twins' Shooting Found Dead

AP

GIG HARBOR - Investigators from Mason and Pierce counties believe they've found the body of the man sought in the June slayings of twin sisters Sarah and Charity Warmbo.

A murder arrest warrant for Robert E. Meyer, the father of Sarah Warmbo's 2-year-old son, was issued in Pierce County after the twins were found shot to death June 13. Their bodies were found in a rented trailer home they shared about 10 miles west of Gig Harbor.

Yesterday morning, the decomposed body of a man with items apparently belonging to Meyer was found a half mile east of Mason Lake Road, near Deer Creek, where Meyer was last seen, said Mason County Undersheriff Gary Crane.

He estimated the body had been in the woods for at least two months. Other evidence at the scene also points strongly to Meyer, but positive identification was not expected until the results of an autopsy were released today, Crane said.

It appeared the dead man died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, said Ed Troyer of the Pierce County Sheriff's Office.

A .22-caliber Ruger pistol lay nearby.

In an unusual step, Pierce County sheriff's officers announced publicly in July they were searching for Meyer and had regarded him as the primary suspect since soon after the twin sisters were found dead of multiple gunshot wounds.

Meyer had lost a court battle to Sarah Warmbo over custody of their son, John, 2. Their dispute was heated and Sarah Warmbo had obtained two restraining orders against Meyer.

Detectives searched Meyer's parents' home in Lacrosse, Whitman County, where he had lived, and his car after it was found in a Port Orchard parking lot the morning of the shootings. They found ammunition of the same caliber and brand as that found in the twins' bedrooms, Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Curt Benson said.

Meyer was last seen in Shelton after a friend drove him from Port Orchard the day of the shootings. Meyer had worked one day on a new job as truck driver for Whitman County the day before.

There had been several unconfirmed sightings of Meyer in Western Washington, Benson said.

Meyer, 25, had just lost a custody battle with Sarah Warmbo. He did not show up for a court date scheduled the afternoon the 22-year-old sisters' bodies were found.

Information from Seattle Times staff reporter Dee Norton is included in this report.

Copyright (c) 1997 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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