Bremerton handcuffs

Published on March 29th, 2017 | by The Kitsap Scene


Bremerton Police Arrest Man in Connection with Death of 67-Year-Old Woman

Bremerton police made an arrest this morning in connection with the death of a 67-year-old woman.

Police arrested Richard R. Heller, 57, at 10:30 a.m. at his west Bremerton home, according to a press release from the police department.

The arrest comes on the heels of a lengthy investigation into the death of Heller’s longtime girlfriend, 67-year-old Perleen Bode, earlier this year.

The police department’s release gives the following account of what happened:

Officers were called to Bode’s residence at 8:47 a.m. Jan. 5, after Heller reported Bode was “unconscious and had possibly passed away.” Officers confirmed Bode was dead, and conducted an on-scene investigation, as did the Kitsap County Coroner.

An autopsy found the cause of Bode’s death to be a broken neck with severe spinal cord injuries. The investigation indicated that Bode was strangled the night of Jan. 4, and that her larynx had been crushed. Heller’s verbal and written statements indicated he was the only person present at the time of Bode’s death. 

“This was reported as a natural death, but the results of this case show why it is important that we never assume anything,” Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan said in the release. “We appreciate the excellent work of our Coroner’s Office and the diligence of our officers and detectives.”

Heller was jailed and bail was set at $1 million. The case has been forwarded to the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office on charges of second-degree domestic violence murder, a felony.

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The Kitsap Scene is an online news magazine covering everything in Kitsap County.

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