Father of Rebecca West speaks about potential release of Michael Tarbert: 'It's been a living hell'

Michael West cannot believe that the man suspected of killing his daughter Rebecca may once again walk the streets of Spokane.

“It's very unacceptable to me,” West told KHQ. “A 55-year-old man is able to go home to his family, and my daughter can't come home to her mother. I'm very surprised.”

West says his daughter's death destroyed his family. Many turned to substances as a coping mechanism. While his family has recovered over time, he says if Michael Tarbert were released it would be a devastating blow.

“That was part of us he took away,” West said. “No one man should have that authority to take someone's life, the life of another family. Do I think he should die for the crime he committed? No. But he should have to live in confinement.”

Nearly twenty-three years after Rebecca West disappeared, the man many people believe took the then 12-year-old's life may be released from prison.

On October 21, 1991, Rebecca West and Nicki Wood disappeared, last seen at a service station. Just hours after they were reported missing, Wood's body was found in the Seven Mile area. West's body was never found.

Five years later, Michael Tarbert, who resided in a cabin near where Wood's body was found and knew her mother, plead no contest to two counts of first-degree manslaughter. He was already serving a sentence for rape.