TIKTOK CRIME | Three young people found two bodies in a suitcase while recording a video, the murderer was the couple’s landlord

06/03/2023 at 07:01


Michael Lee killed his tenants, Jessica and Austin, because they were late with a rent payment. Three boys published the finding without knowing that it was human remains, the video had 30 million views

Violent, aggressive and with numerous criminal records. He never took no. He lived for days with the lifeless bodies of his tenants. She dismembered them, put them in garbage bags and dumped them in different hiding spots in suitcases. Her macabre crime came to light thanks to three young people, an affair, and some TikTok videos. Is called Michael Leeis 65 years old and is sentenced to 46 years and eight months in jail.

June 19, 2020. Three young people decide to live an adventure, end the routine and be surprised. open Randonautica, an application -in fashion at that time-, which generates random coordinates to encourage discovering new corners. The perch is the adventure; the claim is the mystery; the objective: be part of a search game in which the protagonist is you. That day, in Seattle (United States), she was. the three young They reached the marked point and found a suitcase. When they opened it, they were shocked: contained human remains. It wasn’t part of any game, it was real. The police investigation revealed that the victims were two young people who had been on the list of disappeared for ten days. They discovered that the couple had fallen behind on their payments and that the murderer was his landlord, who went to collect their rent and ended up killing his tenants.

On the left, Michael Lee, the man who murdered his tenants; to the right, his victims. |

“Where are we going?”, the adventure of those who found their bodies, tiktokeada, started like this. The app has marked a point in Seattleclose to the coastal area near the market of Pike Place. The game starts and the TikTok videos start too. The two applications are the perfect tandem, the second is necessary to tell what happens in real time. The three young people walk, without frights, everything goes normally.

In the background, on the rocks, they see a suitcase. They visualize the lump. It’s black, it’s closed. “Will there be money?”, they wonder. They are going to look They jump towards the rocks. With fear, they try to open it: “As soon as we opened it, the smell was overwhelming,” publish. There is a garbage bag.

Joking, they post a new video next to the suitcase. “We are going to call the police, to see if there is a human body or it is just food & rdquor ;.

They called, not really believing their suspicion was real. They did it with a video, one more. The agents confirmed the horror: inside there was a human body cut up. Game over, it became a real crime scene.

Screenshots of the videos shared by young people on TikTok. | OPEN CASE

Start the investigation

“Police have opened an investigation after several bags containing human remains were located near 1100 Alki Avenue SW this afternoon. Our officers arrived on scene after receiving a call alerting of a suspicious bag on the beach. A second bag has been found located in the water. Once confirmed that the remains are human, the investigation begins,” the Seattle police announced hours later. Three days later, investigators found another suitcase, in a nearby area. There were more remains. Humans, too.

By then, the youth’s TikTok video had already gone viral. The sum, before deleting it for not hurting sensibilities, reached 30 million viewers.

eleven days later, Agents confirmed the identity of the two victims.: They were Jessica Lewis and Austin Wenner, 35 and 27 years old. Since June 9 (ten days before the discovery), his disappearance had been reported.

Jessica and Austin, the murdered young men. | BBC

Gunshot wounds and blows

Jessica, 35 years old, mother of four children. He had worked in a center caring for people with disabilities. Austin, 27, loved nature, outdoor activities. They had been together for almost nine years. they had moved into a room months before -six-, to spend together the confinement caused by the coronavirus. They had no conflicts, zero records.

The police questioned his circle. A priori, everything was open. There was no firm thread to pull. Several testimonials, from the start, led to Michael Lee. The young people had told people around them that the owner of the house was “a little crazy,” the investigation says.

Meanwhile, the coroner confirmed that she had died from several shots; he had a fatal gunshot wound to the torso. Both also had multiple blows. They had been dismembered afterwards.

Argument over the rent

Investigators went to the home of the victims. Michael opened the door for them. A 62-year-old man at the time, sweet features, which, in a way, reminded Santa Claus. Michael had rented the room from them. He said he didn’t know anything about Jessica or Austin, although he added that they had argued because they were late in paying the rentand that, since then, he had not seen them again.

Michael had everything neatly tied up, he showed calm. He thought there was nothing to incriminate him. The nerves began when the agents went through the room: it smelled clean, there were bullet holes, a trail of blood, and a fresh coat of paint covered the wall.

They asked her if she had anything to explain, she attributed the blood to a cut, from her; of her bullets he had nothing to say. He was arrested in August 2020 and entered prison, awaiting trial.


Far from his vulnerable aspect, Michael’s criminal resume housed different crimes. He was rough, violent and aggressive and, according to Jessica’s aunt, tried to scare them more than once.

Before foreign media, the woman assured that, on occasions, the man locked up the couple and even broke their car. “He killed a dog in front of them and left the corpse outside for three days to scare them,” the woman said. “He hit this dog with a hammer even killing him because he caught one of his chickens… He’s a fucking psychopath.”

“Please do not do this”

It is circumstantial evidence, he assured. The police did not find the murder weapon. Michael, convinced that there would be no evidence that could point to him, denied the facts.

The investigators and the prosecutor were blunt in court: the night Jessica’s phone went off (June 9), neighbors called the police after hearing gunshots and a man yelling: “please don’t do this, just let me go”in the house of the three.

“The defendant, probably with the help of others, dismembered the two victims after killing them”

The suitcase in which the remains appeared belonged to the murderer and investigators believe that he did not commit the crime alone. “The defendant, probably with the help of others, dismembered the two victims after killing them,” the prosecutor’s indictment states. The forensic investigation, in this line, exposed that “there may be several people involved due to the way in which the victims have been dismembered.” The cuts were “disorganized” and appeared to have been made in different ways with different tools.

Jessica and Austin’s landlord was found guilty at trial against him and was sentenced to 46 years and 8 months in prison. The King County Superior Court (Washington) has just confirmed the conviction. The sentence includes that Michael Lee ended the life of his tenants because, according to him, they owed him a month’s rent. Then, lived nine days with their corpses. His phone places him on June 18 on the coast where, on the 19th – a day later – three young people played to investigate and discovered the horror that was recorded in a TikTok video.