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Whatcom Sheriff’s Office’ investigators were on a track to arresting murder suspect within 24 hours

BLAINE, Wash. — Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office investigators were on track within 24 hours to locate a suspect in the murder of a man whose body was found in a park on Semiahmoo Spit.

The body was found on April 7th covered in blankets on a trail near the parking lot of Semiahmoo Park with 4 bullet wounds (2 entry and 2 exit) according to an affidavit of probable cause submitted in Whatcom County Superior Court in the case against Lynde Clare Mercy, age 62. Mercy is facing 2nd degree murder charges as a suspect in the murder of the man, identified as Thomas Flood, age 67.

Friends of Flood said he was known to live in a white 1994 Ford Econoline van in the Langley area on Whidbey Island according to the affidavit. Flood’s cell phone was located electronically in the Fairhaven area of south Bellingham on the morning of April 8th. Its location also revealed the location of Flood’s van which was found to have signs of blood in various places inside including a large pool on the floorboard in the rear.

A witness told detectives of a subject seen parking and leaving the van at the Fairhaven location on April 7th and provided a detailed description of the subject that included a multi-colored bag.

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Using Flood’s phone locations over the previous hours, detectives were able review video recordings at along the route and found a subject matching the witness’ description carrying the multi-colored bag in multiple locations including an apartment building a few blocks from where the van had been found.

A press release with photos of the subject resulted in reports identifying the subject as Mercy.

A security video recorded in the Langley area where Flood was known to sleep showed Flood arguing with a woman on April 6th about 1am. A search of the site uncovered a shell casing.

Mercy was found to have purchased a pistol in December 2020 and the same month posted to her Instagram social media account a photo of a box of ammunition of the same make and caliber of the casing found at the Langley location.

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On April 13th, Mercy was arrested without incident as she left her apartment. During what was described in the affidavit as “a brief interview,” Mercy said she had left Bellingham for the Port Townsend area between April 1st and 8th, taking rides from friends or cabs.

A search of her apartment found the multi-colored bag described by the witness and revealed she owned several wigs of different colors and hair lengths.

Mercy made a preliminary appearance in court on April 14th at which time she was ordered to surrender all weapons according to court documents. Her appointed public attorney asked for $100,000 bail and objected to the probable cause for arrest. The prosecution asked for $2,000,000 bail. The Court set bail at $1,000,000 and found there was probable cause to arrest Mercy.

Mercy remained in custody as of April 15th pending being able to post bail. Arraignment is scheduled in a few weeks.

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