Body found in Puyallup home tied to bloody clues in Auburn

Brandon Zomalt - Courtesy photo/Auburn Police
Brandon Zomalt
— image credit: Courtesy photo/Auburn Police

Reporter staff

Authorities said a body found at a Puyallup home Monday evening may be that of a man whose blood and bone fragments were discovered off Peasley Canyon Drive, just inside Auburn city limits, on Aug. 13.

Evidence suggests the body is that of 30-year-old Brandon Shane Zomalt of Puyallup, said Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer.

Pierce County deputies responding to a South Hill home in the 13000 block of Military Road East for a welfare check Monday night and found a badly decomposed body inside, officials said.

"There was flooring and carpet, and items missing in the house that match what was recovered up in Auburn," Troyer said.

Confirmation of the body’s identity is pending from the Pierce County Medical Examiner. No suspects have been identified, authorities said.

Auburn Police reported last Friday that blood found at a crime scene along Peasley Canyon Drive nearly three weeks ago belonged to Zomalt.

The Washington State Patrol crime lab conducted DNA tests on the blood found on flooring and clothing items discovered by an off-duty federal agent at the scene, near West Valley Highway.

The DNA profile was run through the State Combined DNA Index System, matching it to Zomalt’s blood.

No other profile has come back so far from the crime lab and investigation, authorities said.

Bone fragments also were found in the debris at the Auburn crime scene, according to Auburn Police Cmdr. Mike Hirman, suggesting a homicide.

“(The) injury was so severe that not only was there lots of blood, but portions of (the victim’s) bones were there as well,” Hirman said. “I can’t even speculate on how the injury was caused.”

Zomalt, police said, has ties to Puyallup and surrounding areas based on his criminal records.

According to records, Zomalt has a criminal history in Puyallup and Pierce County, with 11 arrests involving harassment, threats to kill, assault in the first degree, reckless driving, obstruction of a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and negligent driving.

On the afternoon of Aug. 13, an off-duty agent of the Federal Protective Service  driving down Peasley Canyon Road noticed a fire in the woods and stopped with his extinguisher. The agent spotted a man burning blood-soaked carpeting, towels and flooring along the roadside.

Police said the agent saw a man and a dark SUV were seen next to the carpeting. When the man saw the agent, he jumped in the SUV and fled. The officer tried to follow the man but he got away.

The suspect seen fleeing in the SUV is described as possibly a mixed race man, in his late 20s to early 30s, between 5-foot-8 and 5-foot-10, with a thin build and short dark hair.

Police are asking the public for help identifying associates of Zomalt in hope of determining his activities leading up to Aug. 13.

The Auburn Police tip line is 253-288-7403.

– Staff writer Robert Whale contributed to this report.


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