It was only four short weeks ago that 15-year-old Molly Conley was walking with friends down South Lake Stevens Road when a bullet, shot from a moving car, struck her in the neck and killed her. The girls were celebrating Conley’s birthday.
On Friday, June 28, police arrested a 26-year-old suspect for the crime. Erick Nathan Walker was arrested at his home in Marysville that afternoon and without incident.
Walker was booked into Snohomish County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder.
Walker is also being investigated on other charges including five counts of assault with a weapon, for the shots directed at Conley and her friends and four counts of drive-by shooting. It is believed that the shooting was random.
The shootings were allegedly done by a .30-caliber Ruger Blackhawk handgun. Records show that Walker purchased that same type of gun earlier this year.
According to a neighbor, police removed a gun and several ammunition clips from Walker’s vehicle.
Forensic evidence including paint chips and spent bullet casings were just some of the clues used to find the suspect. There was also vehicle damage to Walker’s car. Walker made his first court appearance Monday afternoon, after the Journal went to print. Prosecutors were expected to ask for a $5 million bail.
On the night of June 1, the night Conley was killed, police also received three other reports of shots fired in and around Lake Stevens and Marysville.
American Legion Post 181 set-up an account with the help of Crime Stoppers where anyone was welcome to donate money that would be used as a reward if information was given to police to help arrest and convict Conley’s killer. That account has reached over $9,500 with the city donating $2,000 and the Lake Stevens Police Guild donating $500.
Joe Neverkewitz, owner of Spirit World here in Lake Stevens, also started a reward fund and vowed to give $25,000. It is not clear at this time if anyone will receive that reward money.
The Lake Stevens community has taken this young girl into their hearts hoping that the police would catch the person who shot Conley.
Lake Stevens resident and mom, Monika Kristofferson held a March for Molly on June 17 where over 300 people walked a mile in Conley’s memory.
“We are grateful to all at the Snohomish County Sheriff’s office and especially Brad Pince, detective-Major Crimes Unit for his work and his kindness to us during this horrific time,” Susan and Matthew Arksey, Conley’s mother and stepfather wrote in a statement to the media on Saturday.
Walker’s Facebook page showed at least one photo of handguns and stated that he graduated from Stanwood High School. It also said that he has worked at Boeing.