Representatives with the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s Office investigate the death of Cynthia Little in Sunland on Thursday. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Representatives with the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s Office investigate the death of Cynthia Little in Sunland on Thursday. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Bainbridge Island man, 18, arrested following killing of 71-year-old Sequim woman

SEQUIM — A Bainbridge Island man has been arrested following the killing of a 71-year-old Sequim woman, according to the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.

Benjamin Bonner, 18, was taken into custody without incident Thursday for investigation of the murder of Cynthia Little, the Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.

Clallam County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched at 12:39 p.m. Thursday to Little’s home in the 100 block of Hurricane Ridge Drive after friends of Little found her dead in the home.

According to the press release, deputies quickly determined Little had died as a result of homicidal violence and that her 2004 Honda CRV was missing from her Sunland Golf & Country Club home.

Deputies sought assistance from area law enforcement agencies in locating the stolen vehicle, and it was soon found at a residence on Bainbridge Island by Bainbridge Island police officers, the press release stated.

Bonner was taken into custody by Bainbridge Island officers.

Clallam County Sheriff’s detectives, with the help of the State Patrol Crime Lab’s forensic response team, were processing the Sequim home for evidence Thursday night.

Clallam County Sheriff’s detectives, assisted by the Bainbridge Island Police Department, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department and detectives with the Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Team, were processing the Bainbridge Island residence Thursday night.

Clallam County Sheriff’s detectives and the assisting agencies continue to investigate.

The press release stated that no further information would be available Thursday and that detectives would be working through the night.

Bonner will be transported to Clallam County Jail, where he will be booked for investigation of murder, according to the press release.

Fond memories

On Thursday evening, neighbors of Little shared their recollections of her.

“She was a lovely woman,” Roland Miller said.

Little lived two blocks away from Miller’s residence in Sunland.

“We spoke if we met on the street.”

Four sheriff’s office cars were parked at Little’s residence when Miller, a Sequim real estate agent, went home for lunch Thursday, Miller said.

She had run a block party for neighborhood residents for the past couple of years, he said.

Brothers Corey and Trevor Reeves said they moved into the house next to Little in January.

They both said they saw her Wednesday, but their family didn’t hear anything that night or the next morning that seemed suspicious.

The brothers said they found her to be very nice, and she brought them muffins on the day they moved in.

Their mother, Tara Johnson, said Little worked at Sunland’s pool, and she was determined to get Johnson’s autistic daughter to say “hello” to her every time they saw one another.

John Lavatai said he’s performed yard maintenance at Little’s property for more than 10 years.

“It’s unbelievable,” Lavatai said. “She wouldn’t hurt anyone.”

She had a Jack Russell terrier named Jack, Lavatai said, and that he would joke with her asking if “she was walking him or if he was walking her.”

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PDN Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb and Sequim Gazette reporter Matthew Nash contributed to this report.

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