October 06, 2010
**UPDATE** Sgt. John Kruse said Wilson was arrested for investigation of murder in the 2nd degree, not 1st degree as the release originally stated. **UPDATE**
Law enforcement officers from a multi-agency homicide task force arrested a 29-year old man today in Wenatchee. The suspect, Christopher Scott Wilson of Wenatchee, was interviewed by detectives and booked into the Chelan County Regional Justice Center on a charge of Murder in the 1st Degree.
Mackenzie Cowell was a 17-year old student who disappeared on February 9th, 2010 after leaving the beauty school she attended in Wenatchee. Her body was found along the shoreline of the Columbia River some 20 miles south of Wenatchee on February 13th. A multi-agency task force comprised of officers from the Douglas and Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, Wenatchee and East Wenatchee Police Departments, Washington State Patrol Crime Lab, the Attorney General’s Office, Department of Homeland Security (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and Federal Bureau of Investigation, have worked countless hours on the case since Mackenzie’s disappearance. Robin Wagg, the commander of the multi-agency homicide task force, states” We are pleased we could make an arrest in this case to help bring some closure to Mackenzie’s family as well as the rest of the community”. Wagg also praises “The outstanding work done by members of the Cowell Homicide Task Force…” but cautions, “A great deal of work lies ahead for the Task Force as we continue to investigate Wilson’s actions regarding this case.”
Wilson was a student with Cowell at the Academy of Hair Design in Wenatchee and left the beauty school around the same time she did on February 9th. Wilson was contacted along with other students at the school and gave a voluntary DNA sample to investigators. On September 23rd, forensic experts at the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab in Cheney, Washington reported they were able to tie Wilson’s DNA profile to DNA found on a piece of duct tape recovered from where Cowell’s body was found. In addition to Wilson’s DNA, blood from Mackenzie Cowell was also found on this piece of duct tape. Investigators have served several search warrants today concerning Wilson and are continuing to interview potential witnesses for further information.
Anyone with additional information regarding this case is asked to call the River Com Dispatch Center at 509-663-9911.