Update: Woman found dead in Mallard Lake was missing – from California

(9/7/12 photo by WCN co-publisher Patrick Sand)
The King County Sheriff’s Office has sent an update on the case of Victoria McMullen, the woman found dead in Mallard Lake on September 7th and identified three days later. She was missing – from California, according to Sgt. Cindi West:

On September 7th around 10 AM the King County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a body found in Mallard Lake at the Coronado Springs Apartment complex located at 1400 SW 107 street in the White Center neighborhood of King County.

A witness told detectives that on Sunday the 2nd of September she had a yard sale in her front yard which is near the lake. Sometime around 6:30 to 7:00P PM she witnessed a young woman walk into the courtyard area of the apartment complex. The woman had a black and white soccer ball with her. She jumped over the short fence that encircles the pond and was playing around at the water’s edge.

The witness saw the woman dive into the water and swim towards the middle of the lake. Based on what she saw, the witness felt the girl was a strong swimmer. A short time later the witness saw the women waving her arms in the air. She was not sure if the woman was in distress or not. The woman was not yelling for help. The witness, who is elderly, contacted her neighbor and asked him to check on the woman.

When the neighbor came out to look, the woman was not to be seen. The soccer ball was floating at the far end of the pond. The witness believed at the time that the victim had gotten out of the lake.

The woman recovered from the pond was later identified as Victoria McMullen of El Cajon, California.

The victim had been married for a year, and she and her husband had a 6 month old child. The victim’s husband is in the military and had formerly been stationed in Washington State.

The victim’s father said he usually speaks daily with his daughter. When he had not heard from her for a week he called his son in-law. When they spoke the son in-law informed him that he and the victim had a fight and that she had requested he drive her to the San Diego Airport. He thought she was going to Seattle, but he did not know for sure.

The victim’s father called the El Cajon Police and requested a welfare check for his daughter at the home she shared with her husband and the baby.

On September 7th, 2012 at 6:40 PM the El Cajon Police Department conducted a welfare check at the home of Victoria McMullen. No foul play was detected and it was determined that the victim’s husband did not board the plane with the victim, and was at work in California all week.

El Cajon Police accessed the victim’s bank records and found that she had bought a Southwest airline ticket from San Diego to Phoenix and then from Phoenix to Seattle. She arrived in Seattle at 12:20 on Sunday the 2nd, the same day she was found in the lake. Debit card transactions showed her card was used at a Walgreen’s in White Center sometime after she arrived in Seattle.

King County detectives used a distinctive tattoo on the victim’s ankle to help identify her and gave them their first lead as to who she may be.

El Cajon officers investigating the welfare check/missing person case on Victoria contacted the Sheriff’s Office to confirm the identity.

Detectives said there were no obvious signs of trauma to the body. Detectives are awaiting toxicology results from the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

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