Seth Frankel homicide case: Auburn Police awaiting results from crime lab; have person of interest

Auburn Police are still waiting for forensic results from the Washington State Patrol crime lab before detectives can move forward with trying to solve the May 21 killing of Seth Frankel, a city of Kent employee.

Auburn Police are still waiting for forensic results from the Washington State Patrol crime lab before detectives can move forward with trying to solve the May 21 killing of Seth Frankel, a city of Kent employee.

“We have no (lab) results at this point,” said Auburn Police Sgt. David Colglazier during an Aug. 6 phone interview. “We are kind of stuck. We need those answers.”

Frankel, 41, was found dead May 22 lying on the floor of his Auburn home. He died May 21 from stab wounds to the arms and neck, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. Frankel was a video program coordinator for the city.

Detectives tracked down a Portland, Ore., man in late June as a person of interest in connection with the killing of Frankel. Detectives removed several items from the Oregon man’s home to send to the crime lab.

“We are still waiting for lab results to confirm things,” Colglazier said.

It remains uncertain when detectives could get the results.

“It’s hard to say,” Colglazier said. “It’s not a quick turnaround. The number of cases (handled by the state crime lab) is huge. This is our top priority and on our front burner. But when you work with the state labs and private labs you wait your turn. That’s what we have to deal with. They have other stuff they have to work on.”

Detectives hope the results of items examined by the crime lab will give them enough evidence to make an arrest.

Cell phone records show the Portland man in the area of Frankel’s home on the day he was killed, Colglazier said. But King County prosecutors have told Auburn Police they need more than the current evidence to arrest the man.

Detectives have not ruled out the possibility that more than one individual might have been involved in Frankel’s death. The crime-lab evidence could help indicate whether more than one person was involved in the killing.

Frankel joined the city of Kent in 2007 after 11 years as a director of production at a PBS station in Eureka, Calif. He was the employee behind most of the city meetings and events shown on Kent TV21.

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