FBI agents have found what they believe are human remains in the burned-out Brownstown Tavern near Harrah.
Investigators, who have been working at the site, found “potential human remains and other evidence” that will be taken to the FBI laboratory for confirmation and identification, according to the bureau’s Seattle office.
No timetable has been set for that process. The FBI’s statement said that next of kin have been notified about the discovery of potential human remains.
An early morning fire destroyed the building June 12, and the building’s owner, Tim Castilleja, has not been accounted for, according to authorities. Castilleja was living in the building at 3060 Brownstown Road at the time of the fire.
Castilleja had testified in U.S. District Court three days earlier in the murder trial of Jordan Stevens, who was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Alillia “Lala” Minthorn, who was shot to death May 3, 2019, in a closed area of the Yakama reservation north of Brownstown.
Stevens was found guilty of first-degree murder June 10.
Castilleja was arrested and brought to court to testify after failing to show up. He told the court that he was afraid to testify.
In his testimony, Castilleja said Stevens and two women showed up at the tavern the day Minthorn was killed. One of the women appeared to be upset as she cleaned the SUV they arrived in, and Stevens was carrying a rifle.
The FBI is asking anyone with information about the fire to provide it online at https://tips.fbi.gov.