Tukwila police investigating Tumwater man’s death, colleague says

A man who was found dead in the Southcenter Mall parking lot in Tukwila early Monday was from Tumwater, a colleague of his 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 as a result of “multiple sharp force” injuries, according to the medical examiner information.

RediCab driver Jacob Stapp said Thursday that Hokema was from Tumwater and that he had driven a taxi for the business since 2016. Stapp has also worked for the business since then, he said.

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

About 4:15 a.m. Monday, the man’s body was found in the mall parking lot, according to a post on Facebook. Police called the death suspicious and said its Major Crimes Unit was activated to investigate.

Then on Thursday, police announced again on Facebook that the man’s death was being investigated as a homicide. They also are asking the public to help identify a taxi connected to the suspicious death.

“The vehicle is a 2012 red Toyota Camry four-door with RediCab markings as shown,” the post reads. “The taxi light shown may or may not be on top of the vehicle. The hood and front bumper are slightly different red colors. The RediCab company is working cooperatively with Tukwila Police.”

Stapp said they learned about Hokema’s death from police about noon Monday.

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

“It might seem like small thing, but it made a difference with customers,” he said.

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

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

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

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