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SeaTac woman’s death in Kent ruled a homicide by medical examiner

25-year-old identified; died from blunt force injury of torso; police seek more witnesses

A 25-year-old SeaTac’s woman death May 13 in Kent has been ruled a homicide by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Maria Apodaca-Tift died from left hemothorax due to blunt force injury of torso and the manner of death is homicide, according to the medical examiner.

Hemothorax is when blood collects between the chest wall and lungs, according to healthline.com. The buildup of the volume of blood in this space can eventually cause the lung to collapse.

Apodaca-Tift died following a dispute with a man at a 7-Eleven store, 22422 83rd Ave. S., according to Kent Police. Officers responded at about 1:39 a.m. Saturday, May 13 in reference to a woman inside the store who needed medical aid.

Officers found Apodaca-Tift conscious and having trouble breathing. Puget Sound Fire and King County Medic One arrived, moved her to an ambulance and provided lifesaving aid. Her condition deteriorated rapidly, requiring CPR, according to police. She died at the scene.

Witnesses told police that Apodaca-Tift had been in a verbal dispute with a man just prior to entering the store. The argument escalated and the man reportedly struck the woman in the upper body area that caused her to fall. Apodaca-Tift and the man appeared to have known each other, according to police.

Police have not made an arrest. Police issued a statement May 16 that detectives are aware of additional witnesses that need to be interviewed.

Anyone with information about this incident, is asked to call the Kent Police tipline at 253-856-5808 or email KPDTipsLine@kentwa.gov.

7th homicide in 2023

This is the seventh homicide in Kent in 2023. Kent had 11 homicides in 2022, 14 in 2021, eight in 2020, four in 2019 and seven in 2018.


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