Police have identified the suspect charged with killing a married couple who went missing in Washington state last week.
Officers arrested 40-year-old Timothy Burke of Olympia on 17 November, days after the disappearance of Karen Koep, a local chiropractor, and her husband Davido. The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office said the suspect was known to the couple but did not specify how. Records show Mr Burke is facing charges of first-degree kidnapping and first-degree murder, and police confirmed his identity to NBC News on Saturday.
The case — which began as an investigation into the couple’s “suspicious” disappearance, per earlier statements — has now turned into a murder investigation. The sheriff’s office said investigators “do not believe the couple survived the attack at their residence”.
Ms Koep’s sister, Pauline Dutton, told The Independent that Mr Burke was a tenant on one of the multiple rental properties the couple owned. Ms Dutton said she also “gathered” that Mr Burke did construction work for Davido in lieu of paying rent, but could not provide confirmation.
Ms Dutton said the rental property Mr Burke lived on was a “source of some stress” for the couple.
The sheriff’s office did not immediately return The Independent’s request for comment on Mr Burke’s relationship to the couple.
Authorities said they first discovered the couple were missing on 13 November, after officers performed a welfare check for a person who did not show up for work. Officers later found the couple’s car in a nearby town.
Ms Dutton described her sister as a “physical healer,” “spiritual mentor,” and “good friend.”
“My sister was always thinking of someone else, it wasn't about her ever,” Ms Dutton said. “And so I want to honor them and that legacy.”