A Washington State killer may have posted pictures of the crime scene on social media before police knew about the crime.
The homicide, which was discovered Tuesday afternoon at an apartment in Port Orchard, Washington, about 15 miles west of Seattle, is still being investigated. The Sheriff's Office has said the victim is Amber L. Coplin.
The homicide may be linked to graphic photographs posted by an anonymous user on social media websites, investigators confirmed late Tuesday. Text accompanying the pictures indicated law enforcement and media would know about the woman's death once one of her family members found her body, and declared an intention to commit "suicide by cop."
Overnight, more anonymous posts appeared on social media sites purporting to be from the killer.
Kitsap County Sheriff's Office detectives believe the suspect, identified as 33-year-old David Kalac, is no longer in Washington State. Though it is believed he led police on a chase early Tuesday morning.
Kalac, 33, has a history of felony assault and harassment, including a conviction in April for domestic violence against another woman, court documents show.
According to a Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office certificate of probable cause issued Wednesday, Kalac had been living with Coplin.
Coplin’s body was found by her 13-year-old son, court documents state. The boy, who also lives at the residence, told investigators that Kalac and Coplin had been in a very loud argument late Monday. When the boy left Tuesday morning, his mother was in bed. He returned home later and assumed she was sleeping in. When later she remained in bed, he called his father, who came over, found the woman unresponsive and called 911 about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.
South Kitsap Fire & Rescue arrived and confirmed that Coplin was deceased. On the wall of the unit Sheriff’s deputies found writing on a picture, “she killed me first.” The victim's purse had been dumped out, and on her license was written “dead.”
Neighbors interviewed by deputies said they heard a loud and violent argument coming from Coplin's apartment unit late on Monday, as well as “loud banging and thumping noises from the apartment."
The victim’s car, a 2001 gold Ford Focus, was missing. Portland police spotted the car and pursued it early Wednesday morning, but did not apprehend the suspect, according to Detective Lt. Earl Smith, of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.
Smith said law enforcement officials weren’t able to confirm that Kalac was the driver. They also can’t confirm that he hasn’t returned to Washington State. He is armed and considered dangerous, Smith said. Anyone who sees him should not approach him.
According to court documents, investigators located the suspect’s phone number and saw that on Tuesday at 6:20 a.m., the suspect sent a message to a friend stating, “You’ll see me in the news. … There will be no more me. Ever. You’ll read about it. That’s all.”
Neighbors in the South Park apartment complex said they are stunned by the apparent homicide.
Marlene Fecto, 41, lives in the unit next door to the victim. She said she was home at the time of the incident but didn't hear any commotion.
According to Fecto, a couple moved to the unit a few months from another apartment in the neighborhood. They were quiet but not rude. They both seemed normal, and that made the graphic reports of the crime even more disturbing.
"To know I saw these people everyday ..." Fecto said. "But then again, what does a murderer look like?"
Like many, Fecto saw the purported photos of the victim circulating online. "You can't unsee it, and I was really upset," she said.
Elizebeth Matheny, a nearby resident, watched law enforcement arrive in the neighborhood Tuesday afternoon and posted a photo of the scene to a community Facebook page. People don't seem to take much interest in each other in the complex, she said. But after seeing an outpouring of support online for the victim's family, she was hopeful that will begin to change.
"The neighbors are starting to come together," she said. "As they should, we need to look after each other."
Other neighbors said the low-rent apartment complex has a bad reputation, with high tenant turnover. But for the most part, they said it's a peaceful neighborhood to live in. "There's nothing bad about this place," said Kathy Price, whose lived there for five years. "At night, you can hear a pin drop."
Investigators are still looking for the victim's car, a gold 2001 Ford Focus with the Washington license plate 495-YLY. The car's two rear tires are temporary spares known as "donuts." Anyone who sees the vehicle, or has any information about the crime, should call 911 or (360) 308-5400.