Remains May Be Murder Suspect's

Seattle police today are trying to find out whether skeletal remains found along a trail near North Bend yesterday are those of Joe Owens, suspected of killing his wife last fall and burying her body in their West Seattle yard.

Police spokeswoman Tina Drainsaid homicide detectives began looking into the connection with the Owens case after finding out the remains were those of a man and because of clothing found at the site.

The remains were found about 5 p.m. yesterday by hikers just off 456th Avenue Southeast, about three miles east of North Bend.

Owens, 70, was last seen Sept. 7 in the North Bend area, where he left his pickup and walked into the woods. It was a day after he was questioned by police on his wife's whereabouts.

The body of Gladys Owens, 79, was found weeks later under a false floor in a compost pit in their back yard. An autopsy showed she died from a gunshot to the back of the head. Owens was charged, in absentia, with first-degree murder.

Gladys Owens was last seen in March 1989. Her husband had told people she was visiting relatives in Kansas.