A Canadian reporter is in U.S. custody as Washington state officials investigate allegations that she planned to kill her boyfriend, a Western Hockey League player.
Tieja MacLaughlin, 25, is being held without bail in Benton County, reported the Tri-City Herald on Tuesday. She is under an investigative hold for felony threats, which means prosecutors have 72 hours to review the case and decide if charges should be laid.
MacLaughlin was supposed to meet Jackson Playfair, 19, a forward with the Tri-City Americans, on Sunday, Jan. 19, but "some issues" came up and she drove to Kennewick, Wash. from Kelowna, B.C. earlier instead, Kennewick police Patrolman Craig Hanson told The Huffington Post B.C.
MacLaughlin allegedly told Playfair over the phone that he would be "dead by the end of the night," stated the Herald, citing court documents. She reportedly found out he had dated someone else.
Playfair called police because MacLaughlin allegedly "made some comments to him that were a threat to his life," said Hanson.
Officers visited MacLaughlin in her hotel room and asked her to return home to Kelowna. Instead, she sent more than 50 text messages to Playfair's phone, Kennewick police spokesman Mike Blatman told Castanet.net.
The hockey player told police the two had been dating since July but it had been "rocky," added the newspaper.
Playfair's father is James Playfair, the associate coach of the Phoenix Coyotes and a former NHL player. His uncle, Larry Playfair, also played in the NHL.
MacLaughlin was a freelancer for Castanet in Kelowna, but stopped working for them a couple of weeks ago after about a month, Trevor Rockcliffe, Castanet's news director, told HuffPost B.C. on Wednesday.
She also covered Kelowna Rockets games while at the Daily Courier, and did stints at Shaw TV Okanagan. MacLaughlin's LinkedIn profile states she graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University and has worked for Rogers Sportsnet.
On Saturday, MacLaughlin tweeted about crossing the border:
If I had a dollar for every time a US customs officer chirped my truck, I'd be able to buy a new truck.— Tieja MacLaughlin (@Tieja_Mac) January 18, 2014
The last Twitter exchange between the couple was earlier this month:
Hanson said MacLaughlin's arrest on Saturday was uneventful: "Her demeanour with me was relatively calm given the circumstances ... obviously nervous."