Alan Edward Dean was arrested on July 28, 2020 and charged in the 1983 murder of 15-year-old Melissa Lee in Bothell, Washington. Lee was abducted from her home on April 13, 1993, sometime between 9:30 pm, when she spoke to her mother by phone, and midnight, when her mother came home to signs of a struggle. Lee’s body was found the next day. She had been strangled and thrown off a bridge. Ethyl ether or heptane may have been used in the crime, as these substances were found in her system.
The FGG investigation was undertaken by Parabon Nanolabs. Police made the initial confirmation through surveillance of Dean and the surreptitious sampling of a cigarette he threw away. He was the third murder suspect arrested through collaboration between Parabon and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.
Dean was questioned at the time of the offence, and he may have known Lee from a chat line. He was also reported to be involved in the sexual assault of a minor in Arizona.
Dean was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping in Snohomish County Superior Court. Dean underwent several competency reviews. The court committed him indefinitely to Western State Hospital in April of 2021 and dismissed the charges against him. The prosecution has stated that he is a follower of the sovereign citizen movement, and that he is competent but non-cooperative. He has demonstrated behaviour that appears to be delusional, paranoid, and possibly schizophrenic. If he can be successfully treated, then the charges against him may proceed.
Dean was to be discharged from the hospital in August of 2022, but was ordered detained on a $2 million bond after the prosecution filed the charges for a third time.
In February of 2023, Dean was again found competent to stand trial, and he was arraigned on February 28, 2023. His trial is to begin on April 7, 2023. Court filings stated, “despite differing reports made by psychologists and evaluators of Mr. Dean over the last year and a half, there is currently insufficient evidence to diagnose Mr. Dean with a formal thought disorder … or any other psychotic disorder.” Dean had also declined medication.
In competency evaluations, the onus is on the defence to prove that the defendant does not understand the proceedings, and cannot assist in their defence.
Associated Press. “Competency Evaluation for Man Accused of Killing Girl.” Seattle Times, August 19, 2020, last modified August 20, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/man-charged-with-1993-murder-of-bothell-teen-to-undergo-competency-evaluation/.
Atkins, Rebecca, and Jackie Kent. “Genealogy Matching Used to Make First Arrest of Its Kind in New Mexico.” KRQE News, January 16, 2020, last modified January 28, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://www.krqe.com/news/crime/dna-genealogy-used-to-make-first-arrest-of-its-kind-in-new-mexico/.
Goldstein-Street, Jake. “Man Accused of Bothell Cold Case Killing Can Stand Trial, Judge Rules.” Herald.net, February 28, 2023. Accessed March 8, 2023. https://www.heraldnet.com/news/man-accused-of-bothell-cold-case-killing-can-stand-trial-judge-rules/.
Hutton, Caleb. “1993 Murder Suspect Sent to Mental Hospital Indefinitely.” Herlad.net, April 21, 2021. Accessed December 29, 2021. https://www.heraldnet.com/news/1993-everett-murder-suspect-sent-to-hospital-indefinitely/.
King 5 Staff. “Bothell Man Arrested for 1993 Cold Case Murder.” King 5 News, July 29, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://www.king5.com/article/news/crime/alan-edward-dean-arrested-1993-murder-melissa-lee/281-5eb28d1d-0eed-4465-b491-5c6ba2a22bbf.
King 5 Staff. Charges Refiled Against Man in 1993 Murder of Bothell Teenager After Treatment.” King 5 News, March 11, 2022. Accessed January 13, 2023. https://www.king5.com/article/news/crime/charges-refiled-against-man-1993-murder-bothell-teenager-after-treatment/281-9c714183-70d6-475d-bc44-8b86c22ed029.
Lotmore, Mario. “A Cigarette Leads to an Arrest in a 27-Year Cold Case.” Lynnwood Times, July 29, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://lynnwoodtimes.com/2020/07/29/a-cigarette-leads-to-an-arrest-in-a-27-year-cold-case/.
Luperon, Alberto. “Sheriff’s Office Says It Solved 1993 Cold Case Murder of 15-Year-Old Girl.” Law & Crime, July 30, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://lawandcrime.com/crazy/sheriffs-office-says-it-solved-1993-cold-case-murder-of-15-year-old-girl/.
Mutasa, Tammy. “Cold Case Murder Suspect Charged for 3rd Time, KOMO Investigates Competency Issues.” KOMO News, October 28, 2022. Accessed January 27, 2023. https://komonews.com/news/local/mother-of-murdered-daughter-growing-impatient-in-calls-for-justice.
Snohomish County. “Suspect Arrested in 1993 Cold Case.” Snohomish County Washington Government (Press Release), July 29, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://snohomishcountywa.gov/Archive.aspx?ADID=6505.
Wurzer, Wayne. “Mother Seeks Clues to Girl’s Slaying In ’93.” Seattle Times, archive. December 8, 1994. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://archive.seattletimes.com/archive/?date=19941208&slug=1946151.