A Washington dad has been charged with soliciting the murders of his wife and 4-year-old daughter in a text message he accidentally sent to his former boss, authorities said.
Jeff Lytle, 42, was arrested last week and is currently being held in lieu of $1 million bail, according to court records.
The unemployed father allegedly sent a February 7 missive saying he wanted to move forward with his desire to get rid of the woman and child, Snohomish County prosecutors said.
“Hey Shayne, how’s it going?” the text began, according to an arrest affidavit. "You remember you said that you would help me kill my wife? I’m going to take you up on that offer," the message said.
Lytle then offered to split his wife’s $1 million life insurance policy with the hit man, and told him to make the killings look like "a robbery gone wrong," the document said.
The messages went to Lytle’s ex-boss, who called Snohomish County Sheriff’s deputies to report the texts, the affidavit said.
Investigators visited Lytle’s wife at her job. She confirmed the couple had been married for seven years and had a young daughter, the document said.
She said the family was experiencing financial troubles because Lytle was out of work, but said she knew of no reason why her husband would want to kill her and her daughter, the affidavit said.
Deputies then went to the couple’s home, where Lytle was watching their 4-year-old. He told officers he had been “venting” about his wife and denied sending the texts or knowing anyone named Shayne, the document said.
He said he had written the messages before, but never pressed send, authorities said.
Lytle said his daughter must have sent the text, which had been stored in his drafts folder.
Deputies arrested Lytle on February 8. He has been charged with two counts of solicitation of first-degree murder.
He has not entered a plea, according to court records.