Much has been revealed about the man accused of the murder and dismemberment of a Seattle-area mom, but key questions remain.
How did Ingrid Lyne, 40, a nurse and divorced mother-of-three, come to date and trust John Robert Charlton, 37, a man who told police he was “homeless” and whose prior flashes of violence led his own parents to seek a restraining order against him?
And why, ultimately, was Lyne killed?
“We may never understand why she was killed,” King County, Washington, Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said in announcing the first-degree murder charge against Charlton, “but the police and prosecutors working on this case have done a tremendous job of piecing together a solid case against the person we believe to be responsible for her death.”
Charlton, who is being held in jail on a $2 million bond, has not yet entered a plea. He is due in court April 27. His attorney, Gordon Hill, has not returned PEOPLE’s calls.
Here’s what is known about him so far, drawn from police reports and court documents:
Charlton Was a Homeless Day Laborer
An ex-girlfriend told investigators that Charlton, who worked as a day laborer, spent his nights at a “shelter” in Seattle except for the two or so nights a week he spent at the ex-girlfriend’s house, charging documents state. The ex-girlfriend told detectives she’d known him for about a year and let him store some belongings at her residence.
His Parents Took Out a Restraining Order Against Him and Said He Abused Crack Cocaine
On March 2, 2006, Charlton’s parents found him “drunk” in their home in Thurston County, Washington, where he allegedly acted physically threatening and “verbally violent for a couple of hours,” his father Ray wrote in a request for a restraining order. “During this timeframe, he removed a movie from the shelf called Hannibal, set it in front of my wife, told her she should watch this and ‘beware.'” (The 2001 film follows a fictional cannibalistic serial killer, Hannibal Lecter.)
His parents further alleged Charlton abused crack cocaine and “has been known to hold grudges for several years and exposes frustrations when under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” according to the petition. “These frustrations he displays can be very intimidating and cause fear of violence.”
The ex-girlfriend said in court documents Charlton was a “mean drunk” but had never hit her.
Lyne’s Friend: Lyne and Charlton Had Dated For Six to Eight Weeks
Lyne’s friend, Crissa Francheschina, told PEOPLE the pair had been seeing each other for six to eight weeks.
“There was some trust involved obviously [between] her and him,” Franceschina says.
Charlton told police he and Lyne met on a dating website, had been dating for about a month, and he’d spent the night at Lyne’s home in Renton, Washington, “on prior occasions.” He says she picked him up on Friday afternoon, April 8, and they went to a Seattle Mariners baseball game, then to a Seattle bar where his sister worked before ending up at Lyne’s home.
He Told Police He Was ‘Not a Normal Person’
While speaking with police, Charlton acknowledged a “drinking problem,” and said of himself that he was “not a normal person.” He “thinks” he and Lyne had sex that night, and also told police Lyne was “acting weird.” But he could not or would not elaborate and told detectives he was so intoxicated that he was unsure how he and Lyne reached her home or what transpired there.
According to the charging documents, the ex-girlfriend expected Charlton at her house on Saturday morning, April 9, to help with yard work, but he cancelled after texting that “something had come up.”
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He Texted With Lyne’s Mother After Her Disappearance
After Lyne’s mother reported Lyne missing that same day, police learned of Lyne’s date the prior evening with “John.” A trail of contacts led to Charlton’s arrest on Monday.
During questioning, “Charlton seemed rather nonchalant,” according to a charging document, “although he expressed annoyance that he was asked questions about him when the ostensible purpose of the interview was Lyne’s disappearance. He claimed that he failed to contact police about the disappearance because he had been concerned or offended by texts he had received from her friends and family.”
Those texts included a Saturday exchange with Lyne’s mother, Jorga Bass, who was drawn into the mystery after her former son-in-law arrived at Lyne’s house as scheduled Saturday morning to drop off Lyne’s three daughters, ages 7, 10 and 12. Bass and Lyne share a cell phone account, and after spotting a recurring number that later was traced to Charlton, Bass texted Charlton to ask what he knew:
“My name is John,” he replied, “I thought she was with her kids today?”
Bass responded: “When did you see her last? She’s not here, her phone is here and driver’s license and purse but she’s not, please respond, I’ve called 911.”
Answered Charlton: “911? What’s going on? We went to the Mariners game last night but we didn’t stay the night together because she has her kids today not sure what she has told you about me and our relationship.”
“She’s missing,” Bass replied. “What time did you see her last. A police officer needs to speak to you as you may be the last person who saw her. Please call [phone number].”
Charlton did not answer Bass again. She continued her texts:
“Can you please call me? I know your name is John Charlton so please call me.”
“Please John, did Ingrid say anything about someone coming to see her after you separated from her last night. We can’t find her or her car. As I said her phone and ID and purse are at her house but she and her car are gone without a trace. Any help would be appreciated. We are desperate. She would never just go off and leave her family.”
Blood and Flesh Were Found in the Plumbing Beneath Lyne’s Bathtub
A head, arm and leg later identified as Lyne’s were discovered bagged in a Seattle recycling bin around 4 p.m. that day. Charlton showed up at a bus station in Lake Stevens about 10:30 p.m., and the ex-girlfriend noticed he had a swollen and injured lip. Charlton told her he’d been robbed of his money, though she noted he still had his wallet.
Following Charlton’s arrest Monday in Lake Stevens, police found Lyne’s missing Toyota parked in Seattle. On a return that night to Lyne’s home they removed the plumbing beneath the bathtub and found blood and flesh.
Police later revealed the discovery of a 15-inch pruning saw in Lyne’s bathroom.
He Has a Criminal Record in Six States
Charlton’s prior criminal record in six states includes convictions for aggravated robbery, felony theft, grand theft motor vehicle, assault, and third-degree larceny, in addition to arrests for battery.