The Tacoma Police Department, in consultation with the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office, has developed probable cause to arrest a suspect in the 1986 child murder case of Michella Welch. The suspect is in custody and awaiting arraignment.
On March 26, 1986, at about 10 a.m., 12-year-old Michella Welch and her two younger sisters were visiting Puget Park at 3100 N. Proctor in Tacoma, Washington. Michella left the park to get lunch for her sisters. When she returned, she may have gone looking for her sisters who had gone to a nearby business to use a restroom. When Michella’s sisters returned to the park around 1 p.m., they found Michella’s bike and lunch on the table, but could not find Michella. A search was conducted of an adjacent gulch where Michella’s body was discovered several hours later.