Clifford Everell Reed, a 59-year-old Montana man charged in the 1996 murder of a Kirkland woman who was his co-worker, has been extradited and is now in the King County Jail.
Reed arrived and was booked at the jail Wednesday. Bail is set at $5 million, and he faces arraignment on a charge of second-degree murder on Feb. 14.
Arrested in December in Montana by cold case detectives with the King County Sheriff’s Office, Reed was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Sandi Rae Johnson, a 28-year-old mother of two who disappeared on April 26, 1996, after leaving her house in Kirkland's Kingsgate area.
Reed had been arrested shortly after the woman’s disappearance, but charges were never filed because Reed's remains were not found until eight years later, along Highway 410 outside of Enumclaw.
But charging documents filed by King County prosecutors portray Reed as a man who held grudges against women he had previously been involved with, and claim a neighbor saw him driving Johnson’s car away from his home on the day of her disappearance. Johnson’s car was found just more than a mile from Reed’s residence at the time, in the Rainier Avenue area of Seattle.
The documents also say Reed’s roommate told police that the suspect uncharacteristically vacuumed the residence’s carpet on the day of Johnson’s disappearance, then disposed of the vacuum’s contents, rented a carpet cleaner and cleaned the rug.
Reed, now a disabled auto mechanic from Victor, MT, was a co-worker of Johnson at a Ford dealership in Kent and lived in Seattle at the time of her disappearance. He allegedly told friends that they were romantically involved and had an active sexual relationship. In fact, the charging documents say, while the two were friends, Johnson spurned Reed’s advances and finally told him to “back off.”
Held after his arrest in the Ravalli County Jail in Hamilton, MT, Reed had initially refused to cooperate with the extradition but gave up that fight later in December.
For past coverage on Kirkland Patch of the case, click here.