Tukwila police investigating death of Tumwater man, colleague says

A man who was found dead in the parking lot of Southcenter Mall in Tukwila early Monday was from Tumwater, a co-worker told The Olympian Thursday evening.

The man has since been identified as Nicholas Frank Hokema, 34, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. Hokema died from “multiple injuries caused by sharp forces,” according to information from the medical examiner.

RediCab driver Jacob Stapp said Thursday that Hokema is from Tumwater and has been driving a cab for the company since 2016. Stapp has also worked for the company since then, he said.

Calls to the Tukwila Police Department this week were not returned; however, police released some information related to the case via social media.

Around 4:15 a.m. Monday, the man’s body was found in the mall parking lot, according to a Facebook post. Police described the death as suspicious and said their major crimes unit had been activated to investigate.

On Thursday, police announced again on Facebook that the man’s death was being investigated as a homicide. They are also asking the public for help in identifying a taxi linked to the suspicious death.

“The vehicle is a red 2012 Toyota Camry four-door with RediCab markings as shown,” the post states. “The taxi light shown may or may not be above the vehicle. The hood and front bumper are slightly different red colors. The RediCab company works in cooperation with the Tukwila Police Department.

Stapp said he learned of Hokema’s death from police around noon Monday.

He remembers Nick as a “good-natured, good-hearted guy,” Stapp said, adding that customers often said he had good taste in music.

“It may seem trivial, but it has made a difference to customers,” he said.

Anyone with information about the vehicle or case is asked to email [email protected].

Tukwila police have released images of a vehicle associated with Monday’s suspicious death at Southcenter Mall in Tukwila, Washington.

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