Renton police arrested a man in connection with the disappearance of Kathy Chou, 19, who has been missing since April 18, 2010. They are searching Mill Creek Park in connection with her disappearance.
The suspect has been identified as Ezekiel James Watkins and he has confessed to killing Chou.
At a bail hearing Thursday, Watkins' bail was set at $1 million. Charges against Watkins must be filed by July 11.
Watkins told detectives that he stabbed Chou the day she went missing. He told police he stabbed her in the throat, which killed her. He then called a friend to help him bury Chou's body in a swampy area. Wednesday, Watkins took police to the spot where he buried her.
Police are searching the area to locate Chou's remains as Watkins could not specifically identify the exact area where he buried Chou due to brush growth.
Chou and Watkins knew each other from school.
Chou's friends describe her as a smart, funny, vibrant young woman. She's also a woman they've been looking for since April 18, 2010.
Police now believe Chou died tragically in a field just south of her home."We have reason to believe that she is out here in the woods and has been deceased since that time," said Terri Vickers with the Renton Police Department.
Investigators say their main suspect, 22-year-old Ezekiel Watkins, has admitted to killing Chou, his one-time girlfriend. He also said he buried her body knee-deep near some transmission towers about a mile from Chou's home.
Chou's friends still find it hard to believe.
"Well, he's a typical teenage boy — only has one thing on his mind — and he pushes it upon every girl he could," said Whitney Rose, a friend of Chou's. "But you don't think somebody you know like this could be that crazy."
Even Watkins friends are surpised at the turn of events.
"You be friends with somebody for so long and you can't believe that something like this would happen," said Trevor Gross, a friend of Watkins'. "I didn't see it coming. I don't think a lot of people did."
According to court documents Watkins told police that Chou was causing trouble in his life and threatening his new girlfriend. They argued and Chou fought him. He cut her three times in the chest area, but she continued to fight. He then stabbed her in the throat and she died."She was a really great friend, very social," said Deseree Moore, a friend of Chou's. "She made everyone smile. You had a depressing day, she'd come in the room and brighten everything up."
Moore was close with Chou and knew Watkins. But she never thought he would hurt her friend."At least I know who did it to her, but it doesn't make it any easier that she is gone," she said. :00
Watkins was expected in court today but opted not to be present. He is expected to be charged with first degree murder and bail has been set at $1 million.