SEATTLE (AP) — A North Bend man sought in the weekend shooting deaths of his wife and 18-year-old daughter withdrew $6,200 from the bank Friday and told a co-worker he might not return, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Court documents described Peter A. Keller, 41, as a man who collected guns and was stockpiling supplies in the woods. He was described by friends and family as a loner with a survivalist mentality.
Keller has not been seen since a Sunday morning fire at his family home in east King County led to the discovery of the two bodies.
The King County Sheriff’s Office issued an arrest warrant Wednesday for Keller, who is wanted on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree arson, according to court documents.
The fire was stopped before the house burned down, and authorities found seven gasoline cans placed in different areas of the home.
Arson investigators say the fire was intentionally set in the kitchen. They say a one-gallon plastic gas can was placed in a skillet on the left front burner of the electric range, which was turned on.
The fire caused extensive damage to the kitchen but did not spread through the rest of the house, court documents said.
The King County medical examiner has determined that Kaylene Keller and her mother, Lynnettee Keller, 41, both died from gunshots to the head. Their bodies were found in their bedrooms.
Kaylene’s boyfriend told detectives that Peter Keller had shown him his gun collection and several large-caliber rifles and handguns, court documents said. The unnamed boyfriend said Kaylene had told him her father took long hikes on the weekends and was stockpiling supplies at a fort in the woods.
The boyfriend told authorities he did not think either woman knew the fort’s location. Detectives are searching the woods surrounding Interstate 90, but Sgt. Cindi West said authorities have not been able to pinpoint a location for their efforts.
“He could be in California. He could be inMexico. We don’t know,” she said, adding that detectives are hoping someone will come forward with a recollection of seeing his pickup truck at a certain trailhead on a regular basis.
Sheriff Steve Strachan said at a news conference that the obvious question was how much danger does Keller present for hikers, campers and the rest of the public.
“I don’t think we need to be fearful, but we do need to be aware and use common sense to stay safe,” Strachan said. “If you’re hiking or using areas of the mountains, carry a cellphone, do not confront Keller, and let us know if you see or know anything about his location.”
Detectives also spoke with some of Peter Keller’s co-workers, who said he spent long hours after work and on weekends in the woods.
A co-worker told authorities that Peter Keller also had purchased silencers and body armor but did not tell his wife because of how expensive such equipment is, the probable cause statement said.
“Another co-worker told detectives that when he asked Peter if he was coming back to work next week, Peter replied that he may not come back next week, the week after that or maybe never,” the document said.
Peter Keller works at a computer refurbishing store in Preston. He has not been to work since Wednesday but had scheduled a few days off, authorities said.
Authorities said Peter Keller’s weapons were all missing from the residence.
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