Suspect in murder-suicide identified after standoff in Yelm

Coroner’s Office still working to identify victim


Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, along with multiple agencies, responded to reports of potential human remains on Tuesday, May 21, found on an Old McKenna Road property by first responders attending to a fire on the same property around 7 a.m. that day. 

What initially started as a response to a boat and RV fire in the 10500 block of Old McKenna Road Southeast turned into a death investigation following the first responders’ discovery of potential human remains. Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock later confirmed that a 67-year-old man from Yelm was, in fact, found deceased on the property. 

After law enforcement arrived on scene around 11:30 a.m. to execute a warrant to investigate the human remains, the investigation quickly turned into a standoff as 30-year-old Abnel B. Quinones, of Yelm, was found with a woman by deputies inside the home of the deceased victim. Quinones displayed a gun, which led to the road being closed and a long standoff with Thurston County SWAT, according to Thurston County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Mike Brooks. 

Once the woman exited the house, Brooks said a SWAT team took over and attempted to talk Quinones into exiting the home to further the investigation. The woman was uninjured and allowed to leave the scene once it was secured. Negotiations lasted for roughly six hours, according to TCSO. 

“The male interacted with them for several hours and ultimately committed suicide,” Brooks said on May 21. “I can tell you it’s a known piece of property to the sheriff’s office that typically involves a lot of people. It’s notorious for lots of people to be out here, and it’s not a place that we’d come to by ourselves.” 

According to Brooks, the sheriff’s office, the Yelm Police Department, Washington State Patrol’s bomb squad, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Thurston County Coroner's Office, Thurston County SWAT and its partnered agencies responded to the situation at the Old McKenna Road property. The SWAT team’s partnered agencies include the Lacey Police Department, the Olympia Police Department, the Tumwater Police Department, the Yelm Police Department and the sheriff’s office.

Warnock confirmed that the deceased 67-year-old Yelm resident was “put into a fire pit and set afire” in an attempt to dispose of the body. He added that the coroner’s office will take X-Rays of the victim to do an overlay to match with the man’s potential medical records. 

“We have him tentatively identified. We’re pretty sure we know who it is,” Warnock said. “It’s a sad set of circumstances, to be honest.”

He said Quinones died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

TCSO continues to investigate, and follow-up interviews are being conducted.