File photo.

File photo.

New details released around Mercer Island victim in hotel homicide

Remains of Mercer Island man were discovered by police last week in Renton hotel.

More details have been released regarding the homicide of a 61-year-old man with ties to Mercer Island.

Skyview resident James Perkins, 31, was charged last week with first-degree manslaughter after police found human remains in his Renton hotel room in the 1800 block of East Valley Road.

A tip reporting the disappearance of William Sheldon, 61, was made to Redmond police on April 26. Mercer Island police took the helm of the investigation after learning that Sheldon had been staying with a friend on the Island.

Sheldon had not been seen since April 23. According to the friend he was staying with, he was using various dating websites to meet up with other men.

Sheldon’s remains were discovered in the hotel room May 5 by Renton detectives. They obtained a search warrant and forced their way inside the room after the occupant in the room next door initially refused entry, alleging to have COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Charging papers say that items found in Perkins’ borrowed vehicle, including shovels and gloves, suggest that Perkins was preparing to dismember and then dispose of Sheldon’s remains.

Sheldon’s remains had been hidden in a plastic tote under the bathroom sink of the hotel room for about two weeks. Perkins continued to use the room for subsequent meetings with men.

According to police, Perkins claimed to have met Sheldon online. Perkins invited Sheldon to his hotel room, and after doing meth and hallucinogens together, Perkins allegedly placed Sheldon in a bear hug after he began to react negatively to the drugs.

Perkins said that after falling asleep, he woke up to find that Sheldon had not changed positions.

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office concluded that Sheldon had died from blunt force trauma and additionally suffered about 10 broken ribs. Perkins remains jailed.


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