Stolen cars, murder, arson: Here’s how Nick Valez’s death was investigated
A suspect has been arrested for the alleged murder of Ravensdale resident Nick Falison earlier this fall.
Valez was killed in his neighborhood on September 21 after checking a suspicious vehicle in his neighborhood. According to the family’s GoFundMe site, “There has been an ongoing problem of illegal dumping in the neighborhood for years, with little help from authorities to patrol and protect the streets, which are understaffed and cover a very large geographic area. Our friend and neighbor has been exposed Dear, defenseless and alone, brutally attacked and killed.
Two months later, Black Diamond resident Andrew Ralph Baim, 38, was arrested and charged with one count of second-degree murder, one count of second-degree arson, and two counts of possession of a stolen vehicle on Nov. 15.
Prosecutors requested $4 million bail, according to court documents, claiming that Baim “poses a significant risk to safety and the community, as well as a significant risk of flight.”
The arraignment is scheduled for November 30.
It appears that Baim is no stranger to law enforcement in Black Diamond and King County. According to district court documents, he was charged with false imprisonment and domestic violence in 2016 (and pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault and domestic violence); He pleaded guilty to communicating with a minor for immoral purposes in 2018, and second-degree burglary in a separate case in 2018; He pleaded guilty to failure to register as a non-criminal sex offender twice in 2019.
He also faces active charges for once again failing to register as a non-criminal sex offender and possession of a stolen vehicle, issues unrelated to this case.
The King County Sheriff’s Office thanked several law enforcement agencies and departments for their assistance in Baim’s arrest in the press release: “Throughout this case, the Major Crimes Unit received significant assistance from several King County Sheriff’s Office units. We would like to thank the Maple Valley Special Focus Team, the Gun Violence Reduction, Criminal Intelligence Unit, K9 Unit, Fire Investigations, MARR, King County AFIS, Muckleshoot Police Department, District 3 Patrol, and our Air Support Unit. for all of their assistance. This case could not have been completed without the teamwork of “We saw it in her.”
From September to now
According to prosecutors and law enforcement, here’s how the investigation is going.
Witnesses told officers they saw a dark-colored pickup truck leaving the Ravensdale neighborhood around 7:30 a.m. Sept. 21, heading west on Retreat-Kanastat Road SE, at a high rate of speed. There appear to be three passengers inside, and the driver is a white man with a beard; At the back there appears to be an opening toolbox with a flap lid.
Valison was spotted by his neighbors after the truck drove off, leaving behind a U-Haul, which was later confirmed stolen earlier in September. Officers found several photos of a Dodge on Valison’s phone after receiving a search warrant.
While investigating the scene, KCSO Detective John Hawkins was alerted by other officers that an old black Dodge Ram pickup, and Pym, had been involved in a few unrelated incidents last September and October in southeast King County, and they recalled that There was an open tool box lid. In the back of the truck.
Around 2 p.m., officers were alerted to a vehicle fire near 2336th Avenue SE in Ravensdale, about 6 miles north of where Fallison was killed; Witnesses said the car was a black or white Dodge.
Despite the damage, officers confirmed that the car Baim was seen driving earlier in the fall had been stolen out of Pierce County, and that it was the same car shown in Valison’s photos. Inside were several partially burned documents, including a certificate bearing Pym’s mother’s name, and documents belonging to a couple who had rented a U-Haul before it was stolen.
An anonymous person who knows Hawkins said they knew Pym was involved in the murder, as well as two other suspects, Bart McMurray and Pym’s alleged girlfriend.
McMurray was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle on Nov. 9 on unrelated charges. Baim’s girlfriend has not been charged with a crime.
On September 23, Baim was arrested on suspicion of separate charges and officers spoke with Baim’s girlfriend at the scene about the murder and the truck. She allegedly said she believed the truck was stolen, that the truck no longer belonged to Baym, and that she heard about the murder through Baym’s mother.
On October 3, officers interviewed Baim about the truck. He allegedly admitted to stealing it, but also said it was taken from him in Maple Valley.
On Oct. 5, officers met with Alyssa Montano, who wanted to “get it all out” and told officers she was in the car with McMurray and Baym when the murder occurred.
According to Montano, after Fallison confronted the trio, he appeared to be trying to find something to prevent the truck from leaving the area. Pym revved the truck’s engine several times to warn Valison that he was going to drive, and Valison fell; Baim hit him “without hesitation,” Montano said, according to a police report.
After his arrest on November 9, McMurray confirmed that he was with Baim and Montano during the incident, but added that he was not in the car when it ran over Fallison.
He also told officers that he was with Baim when he set the truck on fire.
While the Courier-Herald does not typically publish the names of individuals who have not been charged with crimes, McMurray and Montano’s names have already been reported by other media outlets.
“The Sheriff’s Office investigation remains ongoing,” said Casey McNerthney, communications director for the King County Prosecutor’s Office. “The cases related to these two have not yet been sent to the Public Prosecution. If the cases are referred to us, we would do well to treat them with the same urgency.”