Lindsey Waite mourned her friend’s death on Facebook, writing in a post that she was devastated by the loss.
“This morning one of my greatest friends I’ve ever had killed himself. I found his body,” Waite wrote. “This pain I and so many others feel right now. I am in too much hurt to make a whole post right now.”
But since Waite posted that message on Aug. 23, police have determined she did more than just discover the body and was actually responsible for the death, the Record Searchlight reports.
Waite and another person, Russell David Karfs Lewis, both 22, are now facing murder charges in connection with the killing.
This morning one of my greatest friends I've ever had killed himself. I found his body. This pain I and so many others…
Investigators say the pair strangled to death Joshua Edward Powell-Hatwig, also 22, because he asked to be killed and was suicidal for allegedly molesting a 13-year-old girl.
According to court records, police in Redding, California, were called Aug. 23 for a report of a body in a transient encampment under a bridge.
Waite was at the camp and gave police two hand-written notes she claimed were written by Powell-Hatwig. In the notes, which were suggestive of suicide, Powell-Hatwig reportedly admitted to assaulting the girl.
Police, however, said they haven’t yet determined the letters are authentic.
Waite told investigators that after Powell-Hatwig molested the girl, he expressed his desire to kill himself and also disclosed that he had assaulted a family member when he was a teen.
Investigators interviewed Waite and Lewis the following day, and they both confessed to being involved in murdering Powell-Hatwig. Waite initially tried to kill Powell-Hatwig with a rope but she couldn’t go through with it. Lewis then used his hands to strangle the man.
Powell-Hatwig allegedly authorized his killing in a hand-written contract with Waite and Lewis.
Both defendants, who have pleaded not guilty, are in the Shasta County Jail each on $1 million bond. Their next court appearance is later this month.
[Feature Photo: Lindsey Waite, Joshua Edward Powell-Hatwig/Facebook]