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Six years later, police seeking information in woman’s death

A woman’s body was found inside a burnt rental home seven years ago in Port Orchard.

No suspects have been arrested and the investigation continues. Port Orchard police still are seeking information on the case.

During the early morning hours of April 30, 2008, local firefighters responded to a fire in the 1100 block of Sidney Avenue. The body of 47-year-old Linda Malcom was found in her bed.

Police reported that Malcom had been stabbed and the fire apparently was set. Investigators have no motive for the homicide.

“We’re still working on the case,” said Comm. Dale Schuster. “It’s just one of those cases you don’t forget. A lot of people, including myself, knew Linda when she worked in the county prosecutor’s office.”

An autopsy showed that the woman died of multiple sharp force injuries.

Malcom worked as a legal assistant and planned to move to a new job in Bremerton. She lived in the home for nearly a decade.

The rental home she was living in was scheduled for demolition, but police reported that it was not connected to the homicide.

Malcom served in the U.S. Navy and was honorably discharged after nine years.

According to media reports, a day before she died, Malcom sent an email to her sisters saying she found a new job in Bremerton. She worked as a paralegal for the Kitsap County Prosecutor's Office and other area law firms.

“She’s not forgotten,” said Schuster. “We still stay in touch with Linda’s family. The case means a lot to us."

Information needed to help solve case

Det. Jim Foster has been working on the Malcom murder case since 2010. He has more than 35 years of law enforcement experience, including 26 years with the Washington State Patrol.

What he’s looking for is information that will lead police to the arrest of a suspect or suspects in the case.

Foster said he has about half a dozen people of interest. Those are the persons he is focusing on.

“We don’t have any suspects, but lots of people of interests,” Foster said. “I get a lead on the name, I do the research and do the interview. There may not be enough to make them a suspect. Other names may pop up. They either have a good or adequate reason, but not enough for me to make an arrest.”

Foster said that he has not “eliminated anyone as a person of interest.”

“Even though I may have talked to an individual as a person of interest, they remain a person of interest until I can finalize who is the actual suspect and cause of the murder,” he said. “People lie straight. I listen to what they have to say, but I don’t automatically eliminate them.”

Foster said a person may not have committed the murder, but they may have knowledge of the crime.

“If you have knowledge and you’re involved in some type of manner, we’re looking at you, too,” he said.

Foster said there is a possibility there could be more than one involved in the murder.

Because there are so few murders and separated by years, it makes the Malcom case important.

“This case is one that hits a barricade,” Foster said. “We get a lead, then comes to a dead end. Then we go down different avenues. There are a lot of people who need to be interviewed.”

Foster will be ending his four-year period as detective June 1 because of the police department’s rotation program for officers working as detectives. An officer is assigned as a detective for a three-year period, along with an optional year.

Anyone with any information about Malcom’s death can call the Port Orchard Police Department tip line at 1-844-847-7673.

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