Seattle game developer claims Bothell homicide victim was employee; neighbors distraught

Bothell police are at the crime scene of a violent homicide at the 200 block of 240th St. S.W on Thursday afternoon. The City of Bothell blocked off the street to allow the investigation to continue. - RAECHEL DAWSON/Bothell Reporter
Bothell police are at the crime scene of a violent homicide at the 200 block of 240th St. S.W on Thursday afternoon. The City of Bothell blocked off the street to allow the investigation to continue.
— image credit: RAECHEL DAWSON/Bothell Reporter

While Bothell detectives have not confirmed the identity of a woman found Tuesday morning who was the victim of a violent homicide, the woman’s employer and neighbors claim they know who she is.

A spokesperson for Z2Live, a mobile game developer, said the company contacted the Bothell Police Department on Tuesday because they were concerned about the welfare of their employee, Susann Smith.

Bothell police did a welfare check at a home in the 200 block of 240th St. S.W. in the Snohomish County area of Bothell and found a deceased woman at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

“She had not showed up to her workplace as expected,” said Bothell police Capt. Denise Langford.

Bothell police Sgt. Cedric Collins said the woman found in the house died of “homicidal violence.”

Collins said police could not confirm the missing woman was the deceased body that they found. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office has not determined the woman’s identity or cause of death.

He said he had no news regarding any suspect information on Thursday afternoon.

Collins also noted there were kids involved in the investigation, but they were not injured in the incident.

Z2Live CEO Lou Fasulo said in a statement on Wednesday that Smith was an employee of the company for more than a year and “brought endless energy, smiles and a creative spirit to her work and the office.”

Fasulo noted that Smith was a dedicated employee, so when she didn’t arrive to work this week and after repeated calls to her went unanswered, the company called police.

“The Z2Live family is extremely saddened and equally heartbroken by the news of the loss of our friend and co-worker,” Fasulo continued. “... We’ll miss her dearly and our prayers are with her and friends during this most difficult time.”

Smith was in the midst of a custody battle and divorce, which was filed in November of 2011, according to Snohomish County Superior Court records. The records indicate that two temporary restraining orders were issued in 2011 and again in August 2012.

“In the spring, we saw him move his stuff out,” said Smith’s neighbor Vali Bazgan, of the husband.

Bazgan said Smith and her two young children moved into the Bothell home three years ago.

“She was really nice,” said Bazgan, noting Smith brought her young girl and boy by when they were trick-or-treating for Halloween. “She was from Germany. She was a smart lady.”

Bazgan said Smith was also very hardworking and she saw her recently cutting firewood in the backyard because the house didn’t have a heating system.

“I’m so sorry about this. It’s so sad,” she added.

Rose Buckley, a retiree who lives across the street from Smith, said she has been distraught since all the police activity began on Tuesday morning.

“We’ve been here since Tuesday wondering what’s going on,” she said.

Buckley wouldn’t comment on the nature of her relationship with Smith, but spoke fondly of her neighbor.

“She was a fantastic person - a real sweetheart,” said Buckley. “She was a very good neighbor and a good friend.”

She also cried when she spoke about Smith’s children.

“It’s very sad,” she said. “I think of the kids. Something like this is always awful.”


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