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A 26-year old Tenino man admits having sex with a body he found near a recreational trail. But the man tells detectives he didn't kill her.
The man was pulled over Sunday night and a Thurston County Sheriff's deputy found the body in the man's pick-up truck, wrapped in blankets, plastic and a sleeping bag. According to a probable cause document, Bernard Howell told officers he planned to dispose of the body so the woman's family would not have to pay for a burial.
After the man was arrested, he admitted to a detective he had sex with the remains of the woman. A sheriff's deputy says the woman's body was partially undressed.
The Thurston County Medical Examiner is trying to notify the woman's family and has not released her identity. An autopsy is planned for Tuesday.
On Monday a judge set bail at $750,000. Howell is held for investigation of second degree murder. It's expected prosecutors will ask that Howell be sent to Western State Hospital for a mental evaluation.
According to a sheriff's detective, Howell says he found the body while walking along the Chehalis Western Trail, east of Tenino. He says he took some money and keys from the body. The court document claims Howell tried to get help moving the body. One person refused to help and flagged down a sheriff's deputy (Sunday night), who stopped Howell's truck and discovered the body.
Howell reportedly told the deputy that after he found the body, he drove around for several hours in the woman's car. He says he then parked his car, went to his home and gathered a sleeping bag, plastic bags, zip ties, elastic cords and a ten pound weight and planned to dump the body in a swamp.
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