By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – Ricky Allen Riffe could possibly back in Lewis County as early as next week to face charges in the 1985 kidnapping and slaying of an elderly Ethel couple.
Riffe, 53, remains in custody in Alaska, following his surprise arrest the Sunday before last at his home in King Salmon, Alaska. He and his brother moved to Alaska in 1987.
Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said a hearing is scheduled tomorrow for the extradition proceedings.
Meyer doesn’t know for sure how long it will take to get the suspect back to Washington to face a judge.
“Worse case, another 20 days,” Meyer said today. “Best case, next week.”
Meyer sought and secured a governor’s warrant, signed by governors of both Washington and Alaska, he said. It has been delivered to prosecutors office, he said.
Ed and Wilhelmina “Minnie” Maurin disappeared from their home along U.S. Highway 12 on Dec. 19, 1985.
Riffe and his brother John Gregory Riffe were long time suspects, but only just charged earlier this month as additional evidence and witnesses finally coming forward shored up the case, according to Lewis County Sheriff Steve Mansfield.
John Riffe was 50 when he died last month of ill health, according to the sheriff.
Authorities believe the brothers got into the couple’s home, and then forced them to drive to a bank in Chehalis to withdraw $8,500 before shooting them in the backs with a shotgun. Their bodies were found on Christmas Eve 1985 dumped off a logging road outside Adna.
One of Minnie Maurin’s four grown children, former Lewis County Commissioner Dennis Hadaller, offered rewards and hired private detectives to work the case.
Riffe is charged with two counts each of first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree robbery, as well as one count of burglary.
Numerous aggravating circumstances are alleged including particularly vulnerable victims and deliberate cruelty. Ed Maurin was 81 years old, his wife 83.
For back ground, read:
• “Breaking news: Sheriff: Cold case solved in 1985 shooting death of elderly Ethel couple” from Monday July 9, 2012 at 9:13 a.m., here
• “Sheriff: It’s safe for further witnesses to come forward following arrest in deaths of Ethel couple” from Monday July 9, 2012 at 5:14 p.m., here