Possible murder weapon found in suspect's Clinton home | UPDATE
July 8, 2011 · 12:09 PM
Police recovered a shotgun Thursday in the Clinton home of Kara Jo Buchanan, the prime suspect in a murder that occurred in Bellingham earlier this week.
Authorities said Friday they could not say definitively yet whether the gun found in Buchanan's home is the murder weapon.
"We don't know if that's the gun or not; we'll have to check," said Lt. Rick Sucee of the Bellingham Police Department.
Police said Buchanan may be responsible for the death of Kriston Dunya, 32.
Dunya was discovered shot dead in her Bellingham apartment July 5 after her coworkers went to check on her after she didn't show up for work for two days.
Detectives found a link to Buchanan while searching the murder victim's apartment, but received a voice mail message from Buchanan as they were headed to her home on South Whidbey on Thursday.
Buchanan allegedly confessed to the crime, but also told police she was going to kill herself.
Buchanan was found on the beach at Double Bluff Thursday afternoon, police said Friday. She was arrested at approximately 6 p.m. Thursday and taken to Whidbey General Hospital and later, Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, for treatment of injuries from an apparent suicide attempt.
Buchanan is still at Harborview, Sucee said. Her injuries were described as serious, but not life-threatening.
Buchanan, 40, is a massage specialist at Spa Essencia at The Inn at Langley, according to the company's website. Calls to the spa went unanswered Friday.
Police said Buchanan may have had a relationship with the murder victim's estranged husband, Keayn Dunya, and that the killing may have been in order to keep Dunya from losing custody of his son.
Authorities are currently trying to find out more about the nature of the relationship between Buchanan and Keayn.
Police from three agencies launched a frantic search for Buchanan late Thursday afternoon on South Whidbey after detectives got a voice mail from her in which she allegedly admitted committing the murder and said she would be dead by the time police arrived. Police went to her home and found her gone, and started an extensive search.
Whidbey authorities declined to speak at length about the pursuit and arrest.
Langley Police Department and Island County deputies were called in to assist the Bellingham Police Department, Island County Sheriff Mark Brown said Friday morning. Island County deployed five deputies and detectives to assist in the search, while two Langley officers were involved, according to Brown.
"Our role was simply to locate her as an assisting agency to the Bellingham Police," Brown said.
Langley Police Department Chief Randy Heston acknowledged his officers were also involved in the search, and deferred questions about the case to the Bellingham Police Department.
According to news reports, evidence that has been collected at the murder scene includes security camera footage from a nearby apartment complex and the Whatcom Educational Credit Union office.
Buchanan has been a Whidbey resident since at least 2005 and her last listed address was on Windfall Road, a heavily wooded neighborhood north of Campbell Road in Clinton, according to public records.
A neighbor of Buchanan's said Friday that she does not know the suspect.
Bellingham Police said Keayn Dunya was arrested Thursday for failing to appear in court on a charge of driving with a suspended license (third degree) and booked into the Whatcom County Jail in Bellingham, but was released from custody Friday.
Authorities said he was "a person of interest" to police in the death of his wife, but he has not been arrested in connection to the killing.
Record writers Ben Watanabe and Brian Kelly contributed to this report.