Arrest made in murder case
July 4, 2008 · Updated 11:18 AM
When 34-year-old Robert Waddings body was found stuffed in a dresser on the side of a road near Pendergast Regional Park on the evening of May 6, Bremerton Police Department detectives started hunting for the answers to many lingering questions.
Who killed him?
Why did they do it?
Why did they push him inside a piece of furniture?
On May 13, the uncertainty began to clear when Bremerton resident Ryan Estavillo was arrested and held at Kitsap County Jail on $500,000 bail.
On Thursday, May 15, he was charged with second degree murder in Kitsap County Superior Court.
As he walked toward the front of the courtroom, Estavillo exchanged words with Waddings mother from about 20 feet away.
That was my son, she said with her arms in the air.
It wasnt me, maam, he responded. Im sorry, I am trying to find the one who did it.
Bremerton Police Detective Eric Oneal was standing between the two parties, and then stepped in.
Estavillo, no communication please. You know better than that.
Estavillos arrest was a huge step for the Bremerton Police Department detectives involved in the case.
The arrest is the result of some diligent police work, said BPD Chief Rob Forbes in an interview Wednesday. Our detectives have worked extremely hard on this case and have put in a great deal of overtime.
Cris Casad, the chief deputy prosecuter for the case, made the decision to go for second-degree murder, with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a $50,000 fine, instead of first-degree.
At this point, we filed charges we can prove based on the evidence in our possession, he said.
According to a probable cause document presented in Kitsap County Superior Court Tuesday, Estavillo is accused of killing Wadding on Saturday May 3. Earlier that same day, witnesses report Wadding was selling methamphetamine.
At one house where he stopped to sell, Wadding exhibited a wad of cash of approximately $1,100, one female witness said. She gave him $900 to go obtain a share for herself.
The witness says Estavillo was hanging out at her house at the time and possibly overhead the conversation about money and drugs. When she came back later in the evening to meet Wadding to pick up her drugs, Estavillo was standing outside the house and would not let her enter.
According to her testimony, he then admitted to murdering the man.
Later, BPD officers showed the witness pictures of the dresser that Waddings body was found in and she confirmed that the furniture was taken from her house. The victims body was found inside a bed sheet and stuffed in an empty dresser. Duct tape held the dresser together.
The witness also confirmed the bed sheet was also hers.
That is one persons version of what happened, Davis said. Its not very favorable by any means.
Davis said the investigation is still continuing and interviews are being conducted as the days progress. At press time, the BPD had spoken to approximately 50 people regarding the case.
Davis said it is an especially intricate case because some of the witnesses are meth users and may or may not be stable.
Estavillo, a 30-year-old man who sported a thick mustache and buzz cut at his court appearance earlier this week, has previously been convicted of other crimes in Kitsap County, including two theft felonies and unlawful possession of a firearm. He also has a criminal history in Honolulu, Hawaii, including charges relating to drugs and drug paraphernalia.
No information was given in the probable cause report as to how Wadding was killed or why he was dumped in West Bremerton. According to the report, on the night of his death, Waddings car was stolen and abandoned in Brownsville.
Wadding had no previous criminal record in Kitsap County and is survived by his wife, two sons and mother in Tahuya.
Estavillos 10-day trial is scheduled to begin June 30.