TRI-CITIES, Wash-- A former Tri-Cities man is involved in what police are calling a murder-suicide. 39 year-old Albert Beautler's body was found in the San Juan Islands, about 100 miles north of Seattle.
Beautler grew up in the Tri-Cities. His family still lives in Richland. Deputies say Beautler texted a friend saying he had killed his girlfriend, Rhan Rha, and was thinking of killing himself.
That's when the coast guard came in to question Beautler. They showed up to his boat, but they were too late.
"As soon as the coast guard started to pull up aside, he went below the deck. The boarding party stepped on board the boat. Just as they were stepping on they heard a shot from the cabin down below. So he was found in the berth along with the deceased female," explains San Juan Undersheriff Jon Zerby.
The how and why Rha was killed still remains a mystery. We contacted Beautler's family, but they had no comment. Court records show he was divorced twice in Benton County.