Witness, shell case murder at Central Whidbey


A law enforcement report on the murder of a 67-year-old Whidbey Island man whose body was found in Blaine suggests he may have been shot near the Coupeville ferry.

Lynda C. Mercy, a 62-year-old Bellingham resident, made her first appearance Wednesday in Whatcom County Superior Court after being arrested on suspicion of second degree murder. The judge set his bail at $ 1 million.

Thomas Flood’s body was found covered in blankets on a trail inside a Whatcom County park on Semiahmoo Parkway on the afternoon of April 7. Flood was shot twice in the chest.

Detectives located friends of Flood who said he lived in his van near the Coupeville ferry dock in Central Whidbey, although records identify him as a resident of Freeland. A witness saw Flood arguing with a woman there around 1 a.m. the day before her body was found, according to the probable cause affidavit filed on Wednesday.

The witness positively identified Mercy as the woman, the report says.

Detectives searched the area next to the ferry where Flood had parked his van to sleep and found a .40 caliber Sellier & Bellot case. Mercy had purchased a .40 caliber pistol in December 2020 and posted a photo of a box of Sellier & Bellot .40 caliber ammunition on her Instagram account, the affidavit reads.

After Flood’s body was found, detectives located his Ford Econoline pickup truck by “slashing” his cell phone, which was inside the vehicle. The report describes the blood pooled on the floor and in other areas inside the van.

The detectives were able to trace the movements of the van using data from the cell phone and located surveillance video from various companies. They posted still images of a suspect on social media and asked the public to help identify the person.

The department received advice from three people who identified the suspect as Mercy.

After her arrest on Tuesday, Mercy admitted to visiting Port Townsend – the destination for the Coupeville ferry – in the first week of April.

The report does not indicate what motive Mercy might have been beyond the argument she allegedly had with Flood. A detective from the Bellingham Police Department and her neighbors suggested that Mercy’s mental health had changed and that she had become more aggressive since the start of the pandemic, the affidavit states.

Mercy’s social media sites suggest she is fascinated by violence, according to the report.

“For example, on more than one occasion she has been observed with an angry face stabbing and cutting through the air with knives and meat cleavers,” the affidavit states. “In a still photo she was seen wearing what looked like a bloody shirt with a box of S&B ammo on her lap.”

Detectives recovered Mercy’s gun from a friend who Mercy had asked to keep it for her after the murder, the report says.

This story originally appeared in The Whidbey News-Times, a sister publication of the Herald.


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