Zina Linnik Rape, Murder Suspect Charged; No Death Penalty Sought

With time running out to find a missing 12-year-old girl, Pierce County Prosecutor Gerald Horne made a deal with the man suspected of taking her: Show us where she is, and we'll spare your life.

With that, Horne said, Terapon Dang Adhahn led detectives to a wooded area of rural Pierce County where Zina Linnik's body lay in thick brush.

Earlier Monday, a Pierce County Superior Court judge entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Adhahn, a 42-year-old a Thai immigrant and convicted sex offender, charged with aggravated first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree rape in Linnik's death.

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Horne then announced he would keep up his end of the bargain by not seeking the death penalty.

"I have no regrets about taking the death penalty off the table in these circumstances," Horne said. "We may never have found the body."

Adhahn is being held on slightly more than $7 million bail in Linnik's death as well as the rapes of two other girls. Linnik was snatched from an alley behind her family's home during a fireworks display on July 4.

Horne struck the deal with Adhahn's attorney July 12 as about 150 law enforcement agents were scrambling to find her.

Charging documents filed earlier Monday said Adhahn led investigators to the girl's body near Silver Lake in rural Pierce County and that his DNA was found on her. She died of a blow to the head, according to papers filed in Superior Court, and when Adhahn showed up for work at a construction site July 5, his van had just been cleaned, a coworker told detectives.

Zina was seized from an alley behind her family's home during a fireworks display July 4. Investigators said her father saw a gray van leaving the scene, and that his partial recollection of the license plate helped them track down Adhahn at a home south of Tacoma.

During their investigation, detectives said they uncovered two other victims: one who was kidnapped on her way to school in 2000 and another who lived with Adhahn as a teen. Adhahn is charged with rape and child rape in those cases, as well as failing to register as a sex offender. He pleaded not guilty to those counts on Thursday. He is also a person of interest in the late 2005 abduction and killing of Adre'Anna Jackson, a 10-year-old girl whose remains were found in a Pierce County field last year.

Adhahn, 42, came to the U.S. in the 1970s after his mother married a U.S. soldier. He was convicted of incest in 1990 for violently raping a 16-year-old female relative and sentenced to two months in jail, plus five years of counseling. He told his counselors that he had been raped countless times by an older brother while growing up in Thailand, according to a mental evaluation filed in Pierce County Superior Court as part of that case.

Adhahn was being held in isolation at the Pierce County jail.

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