The couple had no significant injuries from the fatal fight, but a detective said they were likely sore because it was "quite a struggle," said King County sheriff's Sgt. Cindi West.
The intruder apparently was the same man who robbed the woman in the North Bend home Sunday -- just 12 hours earlier -- but investigators said they don't know who is, why the house was targeted or why he came back.
"This is a weird deal, just a bizarre case," West said.
The couple's baby daughter and the wife's mother were in the home about 1:40 a.m. Monday when the couple were awakened by barking dogs. The man went to check on the dogs and was confronted by the intruder. They started fighting and the wife jumped in to help. The intruder died at the scene, the sheriff's office said.
The intruder is probably the same person who entered the house through an unlocked door Sunday when the wife was with her daughter and mother in the home in the Cascades foothills, about 30 miles east of Seattle. The robber assaulted her and got away with cash. She didn't get a good look at him because her hair was grabbed from behind, West said. She was slapped and punched in the face and suffered an ankle injury as she was dragged by her hair.
Deputies searched the area with a tracking dog but were unable to find the suspect.
Investigators don't believe the residents know the intruder and there's nothing to indicate why the house was attacked. There's no marijuana growing in the home, for example, West said.
"We have not seen anything that would explain why this house was targeted," she said.
The dead intruder was not immediately identified. Deputies who work in the area don't recognize him, West said. There was no vehicle found associated with the man.
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