‘Person of interest' in Kent employee Seth Frankel murder case

Auburn Police have tracked down a Portland, Ore., man as a person of interest in connection with the May 21 killing of Seth Frankel, a city of Kent video program coordinator. "We would like there to be an arrest but what we have now is not to the point where (King County) prosecutors want us to make an arrest," said Auburn Police Sgt. David Colglazier during a Wednesday phone interview. "What we have is not enough to charge him, but he is a person of interest."

Auburn Police have tracked down a Portland, Ore., man as a person of interest in connection with the May 21 killing of Seth Frankel, a city of Kent video program coordinator.

“We would like there to be an arrest but what we have now is not to the point where (King County) prosecutors want us to make an arrest,” said Auburn Police Sgt. David Colglazier during a Wednesday phone interview. “What we have is not enough to charge him, but he is a person of interest.”

Detectives have made a couple of trips over the last several weeks to Portland and executed a search warrant June 22 at the man's home. Detectives tried to talk to the man, but he hired an attorney and has not spoken to detectives, Colglazier said.

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 and the manner of death was homicide, according to the King County Medical Examiner's Office.

Colglazier declined to talk about the connection between the Oregon man and Frankel. He said cell phone records show the man was in the area of Frankel's home on the day he was killed.

Detectives removed several items from the man's Portland home. Colglazier would not say what the items were.

“We scratch and claw to get the evidence to stick,” Colglazier said. “Media reports (about specific evidence) could tip him off and give him information to build a defense. We try to keep things close to the vest.”

But the lead gives detectives an individual where they can focus their investigation.

“It's frustrating we can't get to the point of an arrest,” Colglazier said. “But the good news is we've gone this long and it's not a complete blanking.”

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

“Clearly it is a lead we have been following,” Colglazier said. “Now it's a matter of getting the lab results we need. There are a few items we are waiting on. We hope to have results in a couple of weeks, but I do not know specifically (when results could be available).”

The lab results from evidence at the Portland man's home as well as evidence from Frankel's home are the next key to the investigation.

“We need the lab results back on the evidence that gives us enough evidence to arrest the individual who is a person of interest,” Colglazier said. “We are working every angle we can to nail down specific evidence to him.”

Police have not ruled out the possibility that more than one individual might have been involved in Frankel's death.

“We have someone we're focusing on but that doesn't close the door to anyone else,” Colglazier said. “Nothing guarantees he acted alone. But he's the person of interest. No one else has been identified but there could've been someone else. Hopefully, the evidence takes us with more focused digging that could open into something else.”

Auburn has assigned one primary detective to the Frankel case but all five major crime detectives as well as several property crime detectives have assisted in the investigation.

“The case is still a top priority,” Colglazier said.

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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