PO man arrested for strangling death of woman, 43

A Port Orchard man has been arrested in connection to a 43-year-old woman’s death in his apartment back in August after evidence suggested she had been strangled.

The man was identified Dec. 1 in Kitsap County Superior Court as 67-year-old Charles Edward Key, who was formally charged with second-degree murder. Bail was set at $1 million by Judge Kevin Hull.

South Kitsap Fire and Rescue personnel responded to Key’s apartment the morning of Aug. 11 after he called 911 to report the victim, later identified as Sonja Evanson, was slumped over the bed and not breathing. Court documents say that attempts to resuscitate her were unsuccessful, but in these attempts, officials noticed a number of “obvious facial injuries”.

Law enforcement was called to the scene as well to investigate. A deputy wrote in his report that, “There was obvious bruising on the face area on the cheeks and eyes. Other than the facial bruising, there did not appear to be any other signs of obvious injury.”

Key was then interviewed by law enforcement. He told a KCSO deputy that he had offered Evanson a place to stay after he saw her walking around the complex and calling to him. He said she was acting normal and did not have existing bruises or marks on her when he took her in. The two even wound up having sex according to his reports, but he also noted his suspicions that she may have been high on fentanyl.

When he claimed to have found Evanson unresponsive the following morning, he claimed to have doused her in water and even slapped her face a few times in attempts to wake her up. He then said he called 911.

Evanson’s body was obtained by the Kitsap County Medical Examiner’s Office. An autopsy and toxicology examination were conducted and found evidence that suggested she had been beaten and strangled.

The report from Dr. Michelle Lubin said the examination revealed “abrasions and contusions of the face and neck” among other notes. She concluded that the manner in which the victim died had been via homicide.