The families of a missing farming couple have said that Patrick Shunn and Monique Patenaude vanished in the midst of a land dispute with their neighbors. The couple were reported missing on April 12, the day before they were last seen, their SUVs, a Land Rover and a Jeep, were found in a wooded area close to Oso, Washington.
Police are searching for two brothers suspected of killing Shunn and Patenaude. The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office says John and Tony Reed, both felons, were caught on video disposing of the couple’s vehicles. They are considered armed and dangerous, police say.
The sheriff’s office said one of the suspects, John Reed, has been in a dispute with the couple.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Shunn’s Brother Said: ‘I Have a Really Bad Gut Feeling About This’
In an interview with KIRO, Shunn’s brother, Erik Shunn, said, “I have a really bad gut feeling about this. I have a really, really bad gut feeling. And I felt like that from the start.” He added that it was completely out of character for the couple to disappear without telling anyone. They have livestock who were left unattended to.
In a statement, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s spokesman Shari Ireton said, “What makes this suspicious for detectives is the fact that Patrick and Monique, it’s very unusual for them not to be in touch with family and friends this long.”
Ireton also said that Shunn was last seen at his work place on April 11 and didn’t show up for work the following day. While Patenaude was last seen close to where the couple live, the 27800 block of Whitman Road in Arlington, Washington. That’s a little over 60 miles north of Seattle.
“The recovery of Patrick and Monique is our agency’s number one priority right now, for the sake of their families,” Sheriff Ty Trenary said in a statement on April 17. “Our second priority is getting the Reed brothers into custody and off the streets.”
According to the press release, “Detectives believe the couple were the victims of homicidal violence based on evidence collected at the scene of the missing couple’s vehicles, as well as the former residence of John Reed.”
2. Shunn & Patenaude are Accusing Their Neighbors of Trespassing With Wild Dogs & Cars
The Everett Herald reports that the couple were involved in a lawsuit with their neighbors. They accused their neighbors of bringing wild dogs and cars on to their land without permission, according to the Seattle Times. The newspaper says that the latest hearing in the case had been scheduled for last week but was postponed until May.
3. One Friend Described the Couple as ‘Amazing,’ Adding, ‘They Would Go Out of Their Way to Help Anyone
A friend of Monique Patenaude’s, Cynthia Fawcett, described her friend as “a friend who’s got your back no matter what,” according to CBC. Patenaude is a native of British Columbia while her husband is American. Fawcett added that Patenaude and Shunn were “amazing people. They go out of their way to help anybody. Monique is a friend who’s got your back no matter what.”
4. They Met at Burning Man
Shunn’s brother told CTV News that the couple had met at the Burning Man festival and were married “shortly after.” Meanwhile, Fawcett said to CBC that the couple remained apart while Patenaude lived in Canada and Shunn continued to live in Washington. Fawcett that in 2013, her friend left her job as a carer for those with “developmental disabilities” to live with Shunn on his 23-acre property in rural Washington.
5. One of Their Neighbors Is Also Missing
In a now-deleted Facebook post, Shunn’s brother said that one of Shunn and Patenaude’s neighbors was also missing. The New York Daily News reports that Erik Shunn wrote, “They also had a neighbor that harassed Monique and is not a good guy. He is squatting on a property adjacent to Pat and Monique’s. He is missing too and I think if they can find him, we will get some answers.”