Shell casing found

Island County Sheriff’s detectives are making progress in solving the homicide of former Langley resident, Russel Douglas.

As a result of the autopsy performed on Monday and forensic evidence discovered in his car, detectives now know that Douglas was killed with a .380 caliber pistol.

“The casing which was found in the victim’s car is being tested for DNA evidence now,” Hawley said.

No gun has been found but the casing is valuable evidence,” Hawley said.

Hawley said they also found more trace evidence inside the car.

Witnesses also have helped detectives pinpoint the time of death to sometime between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Dec. 26, the day Douglas was last seen by family members.

According to Sheriff Mike Hawley, narrowing down “the time of death is significant.”

“It will help us trace Douglas’ activities between 10:30 a.m. Friday when he left his estranged wife’s home in Langley until later that afternoon when his car was spotted in the Freeland area,” Hawley said.

Douglas was found shot to death in his car, a 2003 yellow Geo Tracker about 4:30 p.m. Dec. 27 in a driveway on Wahl Road of Freeland. When he was found, detectives could not say when he was shot because his whereabouts were unknown for that 24-hour period.

Now, thanks to several witnesses “we know he was in the Wahl Road area Friday,” Hawley said.

“We don’t think he left and returned later or the next day,” Hawley said.

Douglas, a former Whidbey Island resident moved to Renton in May.

But according to Hawley he was a frequent visitor to the island.

“He had family here, his wife and children and friends he socialized with.

“We are encouraging anyone who saw him or talked to him during the Christmas holiday to come forward,” Hawley said.

The former Langley man, who was vising his wife and children during the holidays was found shot to death in his car Dec. 27. He was last seen Friday morning when he left the Langley area home of his estranged wife, Brenna Douglas.

According to Hawley, Douglas told family members he was going to run errands the failed to return.

Island County Sheriff detectives were narrowed down the time of death based witness accounts.

Douglas, died of one gunshot wound to the head and was found in his car by a passerby walking his dog.

The nature of the killing convinces Hawley that it is not a random event.

Detectives, executing a search warrant, analyzed his computer and phone records but according to Hawley “nothing significant jumps out at us at this time.”

“It was not uncommon for him to visit and and socialize here,” Hawley said.

We are encouraging anyone who saw him or talked to him to come forward with any information they have,” Hawley said.

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