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Utah man charged in Alaska’s death of vulnerable adult

Homer, Alaska • A Utah man has been accused of raping, torturing and murdering a vulnerable adult while living in Alaska.

Kirby F. Calderwood, 32, was arrested by Ogden police Monday, the Homer Police Department said. He was charged with first- and second-degree murder, kidnapping and evidence tampering in the death of Anesha “Duffy” Murnane in Alaska on Saturday, the Homer News reported.

Murnane went missing on October 17, 2019, when she set out on a mile-long walk from her home to a Homer medical clinic to make an appointment, but was never seen again.

Authorities claim Calderwood picked her up and drove her to the unoccupied home of his then-girlfriend’s parents, where he assaulted and tortured her for hours before killing her. According to an affidavit by a police investigator, the girlfriend was away.

Murnane’s body was not recovered.

Calderwood is being held in Utah on $1 million bail. Authorities say he was living in Homer at the time Murnane disappeared and knew her from working at her assisted living complex and other social programs.

His attorney, Michael Bouwhuis in Ogden, did not immediately return a call to The Associated Press for comment on Tuesday.

Police say Calderwood is already a person of interest and was interviewed about the case in April 2021 before a tipster called Kenai Peninsula Crimestoppers in Alaska in April and said he spoke to them about the kidnapping and death of Murnane.

The tipster also said Calderwood had a women’s Timex watch that he took from the victim. When Ogden Police executed a search warrant at Calderwood’s home, they said they found a Timex that matched a description Murnane’s parents had given police.

Ogden Police said they also found one of the missing persons flyers that was spread out with Murnane’s photo on it.

Calderwood fled to Utah after being questioned by detectives in Alaska, Utah prosecutors said in court documents.

Homer Police detective Matt Haney said in the affidavit that he and Ogden Police officers executed multiple search warrants related to Calderwood in Ogden on May 5.

The search warrants covered Calderwood’s home, along with hair samples and cheek swabs.

The first warrant was served to Caldwell during a traffic stop as he was exiting the residence.

Police found two guns in his car, despite a protective order against him prohibiting him from possessing a gun. A search of his home also found a machete and other large knives apparently covered with dried blood, court documents say.

Murnane was 38 when she left her assisted living facility and disappeared.

In subsequent searches, dogs tracked her scent to an area near a college campus, where it stopped. Authorities said at the time this was an indication that she had been picked up in a car. Murnane’s parents said she wouldn’t get in the car with anyone she didn’t know.

Unsuccessful searches continued throughout the fall, and Murnane was pronounced dead at a presumptive death jury hearing on June 17, 2021. The jury found that she most likely died by murder.

Calderwood had worked at the assisted living facility where Murnane lived and he sometimes ate with her as part of a program run by South Peninsula Behavioral Services, the mental health agency that runs the assisted living unit, wrote Homer Police Special Counsel Matt Haney , in an affidavit.

According to the affidavit, when Calderwood’s then-girlfriend was out of town, he prepared a crawl space in her parents’ unoccupied home in order to torture someone.

He then allegedly drove around Homer looking for a victim. According to the affidavit and the tipster, he ran into Murnane, who got into the car, and he drove her to the house.

A Loved and Lost Bench, a sculpture commemorating Murnane and missing and murdered people, will be dedicated June 12 at Homer Public Library.

Associated Press reporter Lindsay Whitehurst in Salt Lake City contributed to this report.

https://www.sltrib.com/news/nation-world/2022/05/10/utah-man-charged-death/ Utah man charged in Alaska’s death of vulnerable adult

Joel McCord

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