Cigarette butt DNA links woman to Burien car wash fire nearly three years later, deputies say

  • Source: KIMA TV
  • Published: 04/12/2019 12:00 AM

Although 32-year-old Katherine Smith poured charcoal lighter fluid in the middle bay of the U-Do-It Car Wash in Burien nearly three years ago, investigators did not have enough evidence to link her to the crime until now. Smith lit a match, set the bay on fire and drove off on September 2016, according to court documents. The fire caused more than $5,000 in damage, according to the car wash owner. “We had surveillance video, we had a picture of her, but nobody could identify her, and without this CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) match, this case would have went unsolved,” said Sgt. Ryan Abbott with the King County Sheriff’s Office. Thanks to a confirmed DNA match in early March, the King County prosecutor’s office charged Smith with reckless burning in the first degree.


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