Podcaster and husband shot dead in US home
A podcaster and her husband were found shot to death in their suburban Seattle home, along with a man who had been suspected of stalking the podcast host for months, in a case that police who had tried to serve a protection order described as their “worst nightmare.”
Police had been trying to serve a protection order on Ramin Khodakaramrezaei, 38, before Friday's killings, but they had been having a hard time locating the truck driver from Texas, Redmond Police Chief Darrell Lowe said.
Zohreh Sadeghi, 33, and her husband, Mohammad Milad Naseri, 35, had just received the court order a week earlier.
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Sadeghi's mother called police around 1:45 a.m. Friday after she escaped the home and ran to a neighbour's house.
Officers found Naseri lying on the floor near the door of the home and pulled him outside and saw that he had a gunshot wound. They performed CPR, but he died at the scene.
Inside the home, officers found Sadeghi and the suspect dead.
“This is the absolute worst outcome for a stalking case. This is every victim, every detective, every police chief’s worst nightmare,” Lowe said at a Friday afternoon media briefing.
Khodakaramrezaei befriended Sadeghi online in a chat room for Farsi speakers looking for jobs in the tech industry in late 2021 after listening to the woman’s podcasts. Lowe said the two met up in person last summer before the contacts escalated into harassing phone calls and threats in the fall.
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Sadeghi wrote in her application for the protection order that Khodakaramrezaei threatened to show up at her home and set it on fire and left voicemails declaring that he wouldn’t stop unless “he killed himself or died.”
Sadeghi tried to cut off contact with Khodakaramrezaei but harassment continued so she contacted police in December and again in January after his actions intensified.
Lowe said that at one point the suspect contacted Sadeghi more than 100 times in a single day. He stressed that a restraining order only allows police to take action if someone violates the order, but it cannot protect the person if “someone is intent on causing them harm.”
Sadeghi was a software engineer who had previously worked at Promontory MortgagePath and studied in the University of Washington’s graduate programs, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Nasiri had been working at Amazon since January 2022, and he said in his blog that when he was growing up in Iran he was ranked as the second-best singer in Tehran in 2007 before he went on to study at the Sharif University of Technology. The couple married in 2011 after moving to the U.S.
A number of the posts on Nasiri's blog detail his efforts to land a job at Google, which he ultimately succeeded at in 2017. He worked there for five years before landing the job at Amazon.
While most of Nasiri's posts were about work or technology, he wrote last October to condemn the death of a 16-year-old girl amid the protests in Iran about the treatment of women after the death of a 22-year-old woman who had been detained by the country’s morality police.