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A group of teens found two bodies stuffed in suitcases while shooting TikTok videos on the beach in Seattle, officials say.
The victims have since been identified as Jessica Lewis, 35, and her boyfriend Austin “Cash” Wenner, 27, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s office. They were likely shot dead on June 10, the medical examiner said, based on the state of the bodies.
The teenagers made the gruesome discovery on the rocky shore of Alki Beach on June 19, according to police. They posted the edited video — along with some eerie music — the next day on TikTok, where it has since been watched more than 23.4 million times.
The video shows two girls clambering down onto the rocks while the boy with the camera describes the scene.
“It stinks, yo!” he says in the video. Captions added to the clip suggest that the teens thought there might be money in the suitcase, but they were hit with an overwhelming smell when they opened it.
The video shows one girl holding the suitcase open with a stick, revealing something wrapped in a garbage bag inside.
“She’s calling the police so we can see if it’s actually a dead body or just food,” he says later in the video, which edits together various moments from the discovery. The video ends with the cameraman driving past police at the crime scene, then showing a news article about their discovery.
Seattle Police found one body in a luggage bag and another in a bag in the water at the scene, according to a news release.
The TikTok video was posted one day after the bodies were found, Seattle Police Det. Mark Jamieson told CNN.
“We’re glad the video is out there. We spoke to the people involved and they corroborated some of the information,” he said. “The kids found (the) bag on (the) beach. It smelled. They called 911.”
Police previously told local station KING 5 that there is no reason to doubt the legitimacy of the video.
“I can tell you it’s accurate,” Jamieson told Oxygen.
Lewis’ aunt, Gina Jaschke, told local station KIRO 7 that the couple had been together for eight years. She added that Lewis was the mother of four children.
“They were just nice, normal people,” she said. “Nobody deserves what happened to them.”
Jaschke has launched a GoFundMe page to offer a reward for finding the couple’s killers.
“What I can do is keep this alive in everybody’s mind,” she said. “Somebody knows something.”
Police are investigating the case and have not named any suspects to date.