Sources: Investigators' statements, court records, news reports
Created by wenatcheeworld on Jan 13, 2011
Last updated: 05/17/12 at 11:43 AM
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The trial of Christopher Scott Wilson in the death of Mackenzie Cowell is scheduled to start March 8. He faces a charge of second-degree murder.
Defense attorney Keith Howard: DNA testing on evidence in the murder investigation found genetic material from at least one unidentified male other than defendant Christopher Wilson.
Investigators reveal some of the information gathered on Tessa Marie Schuyleman.
Tessa Marie Schuyleman says she was photographed while unconscious by Cowell’s accused killer, unaware she was lying on carpet stained with the victim’s blood.
Schuyleman was arrested on suspicion of obstructing the police probe into Cowell’s February killing.
PHOTO: Blood evidence was collected Oct. 8 from the main living area of Christopher Wilson’s studio apartment at the Burke Hill Apartments, 119 Okanogan Ave. His apartment, 28, is in the corner on the second floor, with the shades open. Investigators said they received news from the state crime lab that blood found in carpet in the apartment is a DNA match to Cowell.
Wilson pleads not guilty to second-degree murder in Chelan County Superior Court. He waived his right to a speedy trial.
Investigators reveal some of the information that led them to arrest Wilson.
KIRO-TV posted an uncut video of Wilson's first appearance in Chelan County Superior Court after his arrest.
Bail is set at $1 million.
VIDEO: Members of the Mackenzie Cowell Task Force hold a news conference after the arrest of Christopher Wilson.
Christopher Wilson is charged with second-degree murder.
Investigators knock on the door of the basement apartment at 404 S. Chelan Ave., where Wilson is living. His mother and stepfather own the building and business, Salon Couture. “It appeared we woke him up,” Kruse said later.
Wilson voluntarily goes to the police station. During an interview detectives tell him his DNA was found on a piece of evidence at Crescent Bar; he denies being there and asks for an attorney. He is booked into the Chelan County Regional Justice Center on suspicion of second-degree murder.
“Forensic Scientist Anna Wilson from the Washington State Patrol compared Wilson’s DNA profile to a profile of DNA found on a piece of duct tape. She found the two profiles matched. ... The piece of duct tape also had blood on it from Mackenzie Cowell.”
The website for “America’s Most Wanted” features the Cowell case but, investigators say about a week later, does not generate tips.
“Wilson told Det. Tim Scott ... that he knew Mackenzie but did not talk to her, socialize with her or pay her much attention.” Wilson also provided a sample of his DNA to the detective through a buccal swab.
Chelan County Sheriff Mike Harum says Cowell’s murder “is not a random stranger killing young women.” Investigators have known that since about two weeks after her murder, he said. “This was more than likely a planned murder. ... There were too many things that led us to believe that she had gone somewhere, she met somebody, she made phone calls, she did things that would lead us to believe that she would have known who the person was who murdered her.” When contacted about Harum’s statements, Capt. Doug Jones, a spokesman for the task force, said investigators have not determined if the murder was random or planned, and they do not know if Cowell knew the person who killed her.
The task force sometime in August receives a letter from one of Christopher Scott Wilson’s male friends. In it, he writes that a female friend was at Wilson’s apartment and Wilson walked up behind her and began choking her. “He stopped a short time later and acted as if nothing happened. ... This male friend also said Wilson has an obsession with death, dead bodies and serial killers.”
Capt. Doug Jones, Mackenzie Cowell task force spokesman, releases information about the knife found by Cowell’s body. They did so after task force members spoke to other investigators in the state. The knife was only sold in the Wenatchee area at Stan’s Merry Mart on South Wenatchee Avenue within the past two years. It was also sold elsewhere in the country. Two sets were given away at the 5-Ts restaurant and lounge in East Wenatchee as a pull-tab prize.
Four months after the body of Mackenzie Cowell was found at Crescent Bar, the task force investigating her murder is still functioning, but some members have cut back on the amount of time they spend each week on the case. The case has generated hundreds of tips — and cost taxpayers $326,000 — but no suspects have been identified, investigators say.
Mackenzie Cowell's class graduates from Wenatchee High School.
Wendy Cowell, mother of Mackenzie, is interviewed by KXLY of Spokane as the investigation continues.
Chelan County Sheriff Mike Harum says investigators have been unable to recover a “pretty critical” 12-hour block of data generated by the cell phones of Cowell and others because the data was purged by Verizon Wireless.
Mackenzie Cowell died from “manual strangulation and stab wound to the neck,” according to her death certificate. The Wenatchee World released the information on this date.
On Saturday, it will be a month since the body of 17-year-old Wenatchee High School student Mackenzie Cowell was found at Crescent Bar.
PHOTO: Investigators have a bulletin board with pictures of Mackenzie — it helps them stay focused.
A group of about 20 people participated in a Sunday walk to raise money for a reward fund in the Mackenzie Cowell murder case.
The Internet is abuzz with armchair detectives, ferreting out tips, facts, rumors and innuendo about who killed the 17-year-old Wenatchee High School senior last month.
PHOTO: Christina-Marie Wright, of TheGonzoMama.com, spends time on Websleuths.com reading the latest updates on the Mackenzie Cowell case outside of Starbucks in East Wenatchee.
Mackenzie Cowell carried this model of cell phone. Investigators with the task force investigating her homicide asked for the public's help in finding the phone.
About 1,800 people — including Christopher Wilson, who would eventually be charged in Mackenzie Cowell's death — attend her memorial service at the Town Toyota Center. Wilson is in black with a hand near his mouth.
Friends of Cowell’s family establish a reward fund for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of whoever killed Mackenzie.
People in North Central Washington are reporting more suspicious activity than usual since authorities found the body of 17-year-old Mackenzie Cowell near Crescent Bar on Saturday.
Since Mackenzie's body was found, pepper spray has been moving off shelves faster than normal at some stores.
CRESCENT BAR — Residents at this upscale riverside development last week added a new layer of caution to the quiet resort life they’ve known for years.
Dr. Gina Fino performs Cowell’s autopsy. Steve Clem, Douglas County prosecutor and coroner, and a State Patrol Crime Laboratory’s forensics team were there as well. Fino determines Cowell was strangled and stabbed in the neck. Blunt impact to the head also significantly contributed to her death. Based on stomach contents, Fino believes Cowell likely died on Feb. 9, the day she went missing.
With no suspects in the homicide of a Wenatchee High School senior, an investigator suggests that young women in the Wenatchee area take extra precautions to be safe.
The Mackenzie Cowell Task Force is formed and is made up of local law enforcement agencies and the FBI. Douglas County Chief Criminal Deputy Robbin Wagg is its commander.
A person walking along the beach at Crescent Bar finds Cowell’s body. At the scene, investigators find a piece of duct tape near her, which they send to the state crime lab for analysis. They also find a Maxam-brand knife, which they say was used in the homicide.
More than 200 people attend a vigil for the missing Mackenzie.
Police released this poster as they searched for Mackenzie
Click link below to read the first report in Wenatchee World on Mackenzie Cowell's disappearance
7:45 p.m.: A resident of Pitcher Canyon in the Squilchuck area reports an abandoned car, which is later determined to be Cowell’s. Officials have said there was a single set of footprints around the car. An extensive search begins.
PHOTO: Location where Mackenzie Cowell's car was found.