Selah woman remembered as loving mother, daughter and friend

SELAH, Wash. — Family and friends have been mourning the loss of a mother after Selah Police say her husband killed her.

The Yakima County Coroner’s Office has identified the woman as 30-year-old Emily Harris-Escamilla. Word of her death traveled quickly through the tight-knit community. They quickly organized a candlelight vigil to honor Harris-Escamilla.

Reports of the murder came out on Friday morning by the Selah Police Department. Family members of Harris-Escamilla called police around 1:20 a.m. about a man in distress.

He asked them to pick up his children from a home near First Street and 10th Avenue East. Family members told police that “something didn’t seem right” about the conversation.

Police got to the home and found Harris-Escamilla dead. According to Yakima County Coroner Jim Curtice, she died by strangulation.

Shortly after the discovery, police say the woman’s husband, who has not yet been identified by police or the Kittitas Coroner’s Office, said he made multiple “incriminating remarks” about the condition of his wife. He also said he was not going to surrender to officers when they found him.

Multiple police agencies started to search for the suspect. They found his car empty on I-82 in Kittitas County. Hours later, he was found dead with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

The Harris name is well-known in the area. Emily’s family owns “Brian Harris Used Cars.”

According to Yakima Valley College, Harris-Escamilla was a student from Fall 2008 to Spring 2010. She became the assistant volleyball coach in Sept. 2014 then became interim head coach in 2017 before retiring.

Community members have been expressing their love for her all across Facebook.  They gathered at Carlton Park on Friday night, holding candles and comforting each other.

Selah city councilman Russell Carlson said about 100 people came to remember Harris-Escamilla. He said he didn’t know her, but went to support a wounded community.

If you would like to make a donation, Carlson told KAPP-KVEW the family said donations can be made to the YWCA for domestic violence. Friends have also told KAPP-KVEW that donations could be dropped off at Brian Harris Used Cars.

Editor’s note: The victim’s age was previously reported as 33-years-old, per officials. They have corrected the age to 30, which the above story now reflects.