‘Decapitated’: Woman’s nude body found
TWO men have been arrested after the body of a "nearly decapitated" 24-year-old woman was found by cleaning staff at a motel room in Washington.
Makayla Young was found face down on a bed with one arm behind her back and multiple stab wounds on February 28, according to local reports.
Anthony Fuerte, 27, and Lionel White, 32 have been charged with the young woman's murder and are currently being held on a $US1 million ($A1.5 million) bond.
Both men have pleaded not guilty to the second-degree murder charge and are due to appear in court on Monday.
The victim's sister Emily Young told KREM that Makayla knew one of the suspects but was unable to confirm if the person she knew was White or Fuerte.
Authorities have not disclosed a motive in the killing.
"Her life was taken from us. We are here left thinking, 'Why? Why, how could this be. Not our beautiful Makayla.' Our hearts are shattered," a statement issued on behalf of the family to local media read.
She was described as a "bright light in everyone's life" who always had a smile on her face.
"She loved hard and was trusting of everyone," the statement continued.
The family said their lives "will never be the same again" following Makayla's tragic and violent death.
"Her silly dancing to Bill Withers' Lovely Day and her personal dancing log at our lake cabin, our fondest memories. She loved her family so much and we all lived together up until the day she left us."
BLOODIED TOWELS OUTSIDE ROOM
The Spokesman Review reported a housekeeper at the motel saw blood on the room's door handle and on the concrete outside.
Police later discovered Makayla's body in the room, partially nude with bedding covering her nearly decapitated head.
She also had stab wounds to her chest.
According to the publication, investigators said the state of the room appeared consistent with a fight and the victim likely tried to defend herself.
Fuerte was arrested on Thursday - the day before Makayla's body was discovered - on suspicion of first-degree robbery and carjacking.
Police allege he unsuccessfully tried to break into a woman's car around 3pm that day before she managed to speed off and attempted to force his way into a second woman's vehicle 15 minutes later as she buckled her children into their seats.
Officers eventually arrested Fuerte behind the Wake-Up Call coffee shop.
He was taken to hospital to be treated for a cut on his finger. Afterwards, the sheriff's deputy who took Fuerte to jail threw away - at the suspect's request - his bloodstained jeans, which had been cut open at the hospital, and his shoes, The Spokesman Review reported.
When police discovered Makayla's body the next day, they found a trail of blood and bloody handprints leading to the coffee shop where Fuerte was originally arrested.
He was then charged with second-degree murder on Monday.
White was seen by hotel employees allegedly putting bloody towels outside the room's door and he was also arrested.
Makayla's heartbroken family, who are preparing her funeral arrangements, said she was "our laughter and happiness".
"Her love and light cannot be explained in words. She loved her mom and dad immensely, and her sister and her had an unbreakable and unspeakable bond," the statement read.
"Her brothers were her protectors and are left in shambles at the fact we couldn't save her."