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Husband charged with first-degree murder

Moses Lake man accused after body found near Sprague

SPRAGUE – A Moses Lake man has been charged with first-degree premeditated murder after the dead body of 53-year-old Theresa Bergman was found 12 miles northwest of the city off Stolp Road around 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22. 54-year-old Charles R. Bergman of Moses Lake was charged Friday, Sept. 23 and arrested by the U.S. Marshal Service in New Stanton, Pennsylvania later that day.

According to an affidavit filed in Lincoln County Superior Court last Friday that includes a report by sergeant Jerad McLagan, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office was told by the Grant County Sheriff's Office Tuesday, Sept. 20 that the cellphones of the Bergmans had last been detected near Sprague Sunday, Sept. 18.

The Bergmans had been missing persons in Grant County and the cause of their disappearance was being investigated there.

Grant County detectives received video from the Spokane International Airport showing the Bergmans leaving the airport just after midnight Sept. 18. Their phones went offline around 1:50 a.m. near Sprague, records state.

Spokane County flew a helicopter over the Sprague area Wednesday, Sept. 21 to try and find the body. But it was an area farmer that discovered the remains.

Joseph M. Harding told deputies he was working fields in his tractor when he found a body in a patch of grass near a power pole off Stolp Road east of Kintschi Road, according to records.

Theresa Bergman's body showed signs of trauma to the right rear side of her head. Charles Bergman was seen on video buying a small metal shovel, a sharpening stone, a tow strap, a flashlight and batteries in two separate transactions at a Walmart in Moses Lake Sept. 17, detectives related to McLagan, according to records.

Grant County's investigation discovered a strained marriage between the Bergmans, and Theresa Bergman had indicated a desire for separation. Screenshots acquired in the investigation include texts from Charles Bergman saying Theresa was in an extramarital relationship and that he was going to divorce her, according to records.

She was traveling back to Washington from New York when Charles Bergman picked her up from the airport, records state.

Screenshots of Charles Bergman's Google search history include searches for "lorazepam and alcohol," "what is a lethal dose of lorazepam" and a Maps search of Harrington, Sprague, Deer Meadows and Fishtrap Recreation Area, according to records.

Charles Bergman is awaiting extradition and hadn't had an initial court appearance scheduled as of press time. The case will be tried in Lincoln County Superior Court.

This is the first homicide case in Lincoln County since June 2002, when trucker Ralph Benson murdered and dismembered fuel tax auditor Roger Erdman in a missile site south of Davenport.


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