This article was originally published on Huffington Post by David Lohr on February 14, 2017.

A Washington state man looking to hire a hitman to kill his wife and preschool daughter mistakenly sent a text message to the wrong person, police said.

According to court documents obtained by The Monroe Monitor, Jeffery Lytle, 42, of Monroe, sent the disturbing text message on Feb. 7. It reads, in part:

“Hey Shayne how’s it going? You remember you said that you would help me kill my wife? I’m going to take you up on that offer. [Her] life insurance is worth 1 million and if you want a bounes (sic) you can kill [my daughter]. Her life insurance is 500k.”

Lytle provided his wife’s work schedule and suggested her death look like a “robbery gone wrong” or “accident,” KIRO-TV reported. In return, the hitman was promised half of the insurance proceeds.

But the text didn’t reach a would-be killer. It went to Lytle’s former boss, who contacted police, authorities said.


Lytle admitted to Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies on Feb. 8 that he wrote the text, but said he was only venting his frustration after an argument with his wife. Lytle said he never intended to send the text. He speculated it was sent by his 4-year-old daughter, police said.

“Jeffery was mostly emotionless during the interview,” the probable cause report states, according to The Monroe Monitor.

Lytle’s wife told police the couple has been married for seven years and she was unaware of any marital problems, People magazine reported.

Lytle was charged with two counts of criminal solicitation for first-degree murder and was jailed under $1 million bail.