Suspect arrested for stabbing death in Lake Stevens DNA, video surveillance link suspect to victim
On Tuesday, July 2, police arrested 25-year-old Anthony Garver from Spokane in the June 17 stabbing death of Phillipa Evans-Lopez.
Lopez was found by an acquaintance in a home near 15th St. SE and 92nd Ave. SE bound with electrical cords in the bedroom in the home. Lopez sustained 24 stab wounds and her throat was slit.
After police responded to the 911 call, they immediately locked down the scene and began their investigation. Lake Stevens Police asked Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit to assist with the investigation.
“When it’s a homicide we always call on our neighbors to help,” Lake Stevens Interim Police Chief Dan Lorentzen explained. “It’s based on how much manpower we will need to complete the investigation.”
Investigators soon found a receipt inside of a vehicle dated just a few days prior to the murder that led them to McDonald’s Restaurant here in Lake Stevens. The restaurant allowed them to look at video surveillance that showed the suspect with the victim.
“I saw our victim walking in with Garver, they seemed friendly,” Lake Stevens Police Detective Dean Thomas said. “We got his photo and tried to identify him—at this time he was not a suspect, just a person of interest.”
Police soon found DNA evidence in the home that linked Garver to Lopez.
“He came about as a suspect by DNA recovered in the house,” Thomas said. “We were still gathering tips and leads after the crime lab gave us his name.”
After showing his photo around police got a tip to where Garver was. He was arrested at a fast food restaurant in Everett without incident. When Garver was arrested he was carrying a folding knife which looked to have what appeared to be blood stains on it.
“At first he denied knowing her and denied being in the home,” Thomas said. “He soon admitted that he had been in the house moving stuff around.”
Garver appeared in court on Wednesday, July 3 where he made outbursts to both his attorney and the judge.
Garver was convicted in Spokane in 2006 for harassment and is still under the supervision of the state Department of Corrections. He served most of his time in federal prison and was released earlier this year. He failed to report to the state for supervision.
The Sheriff’s office also stated that he suspect is a convicted felon for Taking a Motor Vehicle without Permission and Harassment, (Threats to kill). He was also wanted on a U.S. Marshal’s warrant for Escape.
Detectives are still looking for a witness who may have information on events leading up to the murder.
According to statements made by the suspect in the case, he and Evans-Lopez were joined by another person at some point between Thursday, June 13 and Sunday, June 16.
The suspect has described this person as a female around the same age as the victim (possibly 18-22 years of age) with blonde hair, the Sheriff’s office said in a statement.
It is believed she may have left behind a sports jersey in the vehicle they were riding in, a red GMC sports utility vehicle.
Detectives would like this witness to please contact them as soon as possible via the Sheriff’s Office tip line, 425-388-3845.