Tanner Dean Washington is the Oklahoma man who has been accused of killing his girlfriend, 17-year-old Faith Lindsey. The teenager was last seen alive in late October and family members reported she was missing on November 4, 2019.
Lindsey’s body has not been found. As of December 22, her case was still listed on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children website. But investigators, at this point, have reason to believe the teenager is dead. Washington, 24, faces a charge of first-degree murder.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Affidavit: Tanner Washington Was On Probation For Domestic Violence Against Faith Lindsey at the Time Of Her Disappearance
Faith Lindsey was living in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma when she vanished. Her sister, Justice Lindsey, told KFOR-TV that Faith had been living with Tanner Washington at the time. She worked at a Sonic and was reportedly doing well in school. Her grandfather, Jesse Lindsey, told KXII-TV that Faith was a 4.0 student. He also described her as being a shy girl who was known to offer help to others when they needed it.
That description appeared to be in contrast to other aspects of the teenager’s life. According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Seminole County, Tanner Washington and Faith Lindsey had a difficult relationship. At the time Lindsey disappeared, Washington was on probation for Domestic Assault and Battery against her.
According to the affidavit, Lindsey’s coworkers at Sonic knew that she had been having problems with Washington. A manager, identified only as Sabrina, told investigators that she had to step in once when Washington showed up at the Sonic while Lindsey was working and was “bothering” her.
In an interview with law enforcement back in November, Washington admitted that “the relationship between him and Faith had become physical several times.” He also acknowledged that he could be controlling of her and that he thought Lindsey may have been about to break up with him.
Washington told investigators that Lindsey had been living with him for about four months. He alleged that she moved in with him in order to “get away from her family.” He claimed that Lindsey’s father was involved with a criminal organization.
2. Tanner Washington Told Police That He Had Received a Message That Faith Lindsey Had Been Shot; He Later Confessed to Making It Up
Faith Lindsey was last seen on October 28, 2019. The next day, law enforcement officials in Seminole County began looking into Tanner Washington because of a tip they had received.
According to a probable cause affidavit written by Seminole County Undersheriff Matt Haley, the department received a call from a woman in Pauls Valley on October 29. She claimed that Washington had come to her house to speak with her husband, who was a preacher. Washington told them that his girlfriend had been shot in the town of Sasakwa.
The tipster said that at first, they didn’t believe Washington because he had a history of using drugs, according to the affidavit. But they decided to call the sheriff’s office after learning that Faith Lindsey had not shown up to work that day.
Officer Haley explained that he called Lindsey’s cellphone number. A man answered the phone and immediately said, “Faith, is that you?” The officer identified himself; it was Tanner Washington who had answered the phone.
Over the course of the phone conversation, Washington claimed that Lindsey had been shot. He told Officer Haley that he had received a phone call from a stranger who had said, “she is gone, she isn’t coming back.”
Washington then agreed to meet with Officer Haley at the sheriff’s department. During the in-person interview, Washington eventually admitted that he had fabricated the story about Lindsey being shot. The detail about someone calling him to threaten Lindsey’s life had also been a made-up story.
3. Affidavit: Tanner Washington Lied About When He’d Last Seen Faith Lindsey; Investigators Ran a Trace On Her Phone to Try to Locate Her
Tanner Washington was accused of lying to the sheriff’s department about when he had last seen Faith Lindsey alive. His story changed at least three times over the course of interviews with investigators.
Washington initially said that he dropped Lindsey off at Sonic on Sunday, October 27. He said that when he returned two hours later, Lindsey wasn’t there and that her coworkers told him that Lindsey had not shown up for work. Washington told investigators that he drove around for the next two days looking for his girlfriend and that she had apparently tried to call him in the middle of the night.
Washington changed the details of the story, later on, stating that he had actually dropped Lindsey off at work on October 28. Washington was arrested on October 29 on charges of knowingly making a false report of a crime, and obstructing an officer.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation was brought in on November 1 to assist with the investigation. The affidavit also explains that investigators ran a trace on Lindsey’s phone to try to locate her. Officers asked people in the identified areas if they had seen Lindsey, but no one had. You can read the entire affidavit here.
4. Faith Lindsey’s Sister Reported Receiving Strange Text Messages From Faith’s Phone
Justice Lindsey told investigators that later on, she received multiple text messages from her sister’s phone. But the messages did not sound like Faith. “She was misspelling a lot of things that night. And Faith, she has very good punctuation and spelling, and that just wasn’t her.” Justice added that she received several calls from that number as well, but that the person on the other end would hang up as soon as Justice answered.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to Lindsey’s location. Investigators, at this point, say they are searching for her body. Anyone with information is asked to call the OSBI at (800) 522-8017 or email email@example.com. Tips can be anonymous.
5. Tanner Washington Is Accused Of Murdering Faith Lindsey
Tanner Washington is now accused of killing Faith Lindsey. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation announced on December 20, 2019, that Washington had been arrested after “agents developed probable cause that Washington was responsible for Faith’s murder.”
Washington was taken into custody by Del City Police officers at a 7-11 store on December 19. Officials said that the FBI assisted in tracking the suspect down. Washington was booked into jail the following morning without bond.