On Aug. 26, Lurdes Keymolen celebrated her 23rd birthday.
She was wined and dined at a swanky Seattle-area hotel by her boyfriend, Cordonte Walker. Afterward, the couple uncorked a bottle of Patrón tequila at Keymolen’s parents’ home and mingled into the early morning.
Hours later, however, the young Washington mother’s partially nude body was found stashed behind a chiropractic clinic in Kent, Washington, law enforcement said. Her boyfriend’s 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix was found several feet away, according to charging documents obtained by .
Keymolen had been killed after Walker ran her over multiple times, police said.
An eyewitness, who reported the incident around 3:40 a.m. on Aug. 27, told authorities he saw the couple arguing on the street while he smoked a cigarette. He watched in horror as Walker allegedly got behind the wheel of his car and accelerated at Keymolen, striking her not once, but several times, with his Pontiac, charging documents stated.
“They were together having a celebration of her birthday and then an argument resulted,” Kent Police Department’s Assistant Chief Jarod Kasner told . “There’s allegations that Mr. Walker did strike her with the vehicle.”
According to the bystander, Walker slapped his unresponsive girlfriend and later hauled her lifeless body into his car. The eyewitness, who was armed, fired shots at Walker’s tires as he sped off. Keymolen’s legs were supposedly hanging out of the car as he drove away.
Keymolen’s death was ruled a homicide. Walker was arrested shortly afterward. He admitted to hitting his girlfriend after the couple got into a “heated” argument on the drive home but maintained the collision was unintentional, according to charging documents.
Kasner said investigators are still working to determine the “true sequence of events that took place,” leading up to Keymolen’s death. He called her killing a “tragedy.”
“The investigation is very large… it has many pieces to it,” Kasner said. “We’re keeping all options open as we investigate.”
Keymolen’s family, meanwhile, flatly disagreed that the young mother’s death was accidental.
“You cannot talk your way out of this,” her brother Gabriel Keymolen told ,
He addressed Walker directly: “Facts is, you hit and killed my sister.”
An autopsy revealed that Keymolen had also sustained facial bite marks, a cut lip, and black eye. Walker insisted he inflicted them in a frantic attempt to revive the 23-year-old. A medical examiner, however, concluded the injuries were likely inflicted while Keymolen was still alive.
The woman’s family remains perplexed why Walker didn’t immediately drive Keymolen to a hospital after he struck her. The accused boyfriend allegedly abandoned his car and Keymolen’s body at the time police found him.
“If you try to revive somebody, you don’t slap in the face, punch them, and bite them in the face and try to revive them,” Gabriel Keymolen protested. “It’s just so crazy to me.”
Walker, 23, was booked into a King County jail on Aug. 27, online jail records show. He’s been charged with first-degree murder in Keymolen’s death. He was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm after police found a semi-automatic pistol near the scene of the fatal collision.
Keymolen’s death has since sent her family into a tailspin.
“We cry until we can’t cry no more,” Gabriel added. “We can’t sleep. We just started eating, barely. We don’t leave the house. We’re just in shock. We’re numb… that this really happened to my little sister. Everybody in this world has a time to go but this wasn’t her time — and not in that manner.”
The Seattle-area security guard said he’d do “anything to trade spots” with his little sister.
“She was very caring — everything that a mother wanted,” her mother, Fabiola Keymolen, told . “She was always willing to help somebody.”
Keymolen was born in Kirkland, Washington, her family said. She graduated from Lindbergh High School in Renton in 2016. At the time of her death, she worked at an upscale liquor store in Tukwila, Washington, a small city south of Seattle.
Keymolen dreamed of one-day working as a veterinarian or possibly dabbling in the culinary arts, her family said. They described her as both “goofy” and “smart.” She collected sneakers, loved swimming at a river near the family’s home, and reveled in cooking seafood dishes. She loved her dogs, Rambo and Lady, whom she shared with her brother. Her friends called her “Lullies.”
“She was like my twin,” Gabriel told . “She was loved by so many people… For someone being so small, she had the biggest heart. She was full of love.”
Keymolen leaves behind her 2-year-old daughter, Mai’Layah. She’ll also be remembered as a “loving,” “caring,” and “devoted” mother, her family said.
“She loved that little girl to death,” Mike Smith, her former boyfriend and the father of Keymolen’s daughter, told . “She literally did anything and everything she could to make sure she had a roof over her head.”
Smith, 24, called Keymolen his “first love.” They started dating in 2012.
“We were inseparable,” he recalled. “Lullies was the type of person that walked around with a big ray of sunshine around her. She had a smile that could light up the room. She had a magnetic personality… she was a hell of a person.”
In 2019, the couple parted ways.
Around that time, Keymolen started seeing Walker, the Keymolen’s family said. They later moved into an apartment in Kent together. Their romance soon fizzled, however, giving way to a toxic dynamic, Keymolen’s mother said.
“As time went by, he was a total opposite,” Fabiola Keymolen said. “A couple times I had to go pick her up because he kicked her out.”
Gradually, she alleged, Walker became increasingly verbally abusive.
“The way that he talked to her, calling her every name in the book, throwing her stuff, her baby’s stuff out the door, and just cussing and cussing — it was just likewhoa,’” Fabiola added.
The grieving mother said she repeatedly tried removing her daughter from the couple’s home but was unsuccessful.
“She wanted to continue to try to see the good in this man,” she said.
Walker’s alleged history of abuse apparently predated the couple’s rocky relationship, according to authorities.
In 2018, Walker was served a protective order, related to a separate incident, in which multiple witnesses saw Walker punching a different woman in a Starbucks parking lot, charging documents stated.
“This is an eye-opener that it is not OK,” Gabriel Keymolen said. “It’s an eye-opener that we got to treat women with a lot more respect.”
Walker’s arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 14 at Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, according to court records obtained by . It’s unclear if he’s retained legal representation.
If convicted, Walker could face life behind bars.
“I want to see him suffer every day,” Gabriel Keymolen said. “Let my sister rest in peace while you wake up and suffer every day of your life, fighting and looking over your shoulder. We want justice — the right justice.”
Keymolen’s funeral is planned for Sept. 11 at 2 p.m. in Renton. Her family has organized a fundraiser on GoFundMe to help raise money for Keymolen’s daughter, as well as cover expenses for her life celebration.