Authorities Wait Out Washington Slaying Suspect Holed Up In A Bunker

By: CNN Posted By: Stephanie Schultz
By: CNN Posted By: Stephanie Schultz
Authorities early Saturday waited out a Washington man wanted in the killings of his wife and daughter who is believed to be holed up in a fortified bunker near Seattle.

Peter Keller, 41, is accused of killing his wife and daughter. The King County Sheriff�s Office has located the bunker where Keller is believed to be hiding. The bunker is located in the hillside near the Rattlesnake Ridge Trail outside of the City of North Bend. Sheriff�s Detectives found clues to the whereabouts of the bunker after processing the crime scene at the house where the women were murdered. Detectives also received tips from citizens who had seen Keller�s truck at the Rattlesnake Ridge Trailhead over the past year.

(CNN) -- Authorities early Saturday waited out a Washington man wanted in the killings of his wife and daughter who is believed to be holed up in a fortified bunker near Seattle.

SWAT and other teams aren't forcing the situation because of the danger involved in rushing inside the bunker to try to arrest Peter Keller, 41, said Sgt. Cindi West of the King County Sheriff's Office.

"There is no urgency. We have him contained," West said.

Authorities fired tear gas late Friday into the bunker set into the Cascade foothills about 25 miles east of Seattle, though it was unclear whether the gas went deep enough to have any effect.

Keller has not been seen since Sunday following a fire at his home, where the bodies of his wife and teenage daughter were discovered.

His standoff with authorities began Friday after investigators found evidence that led them to the bunker near Rattlesnake Ridge Trail, according to the King County Sheriff's Office.

"We do believe somebody is in there. We heard something going on, but nothing lately," West said. "We can't send people in there because of safety."

Investigators do not have a clear motive for the slayings, according to West.

Keller, who is not believed to have a criminal record, has been described as a survivalist by some relatives, West said.

"We gathered he had a doomsday attitude ... family and friends have indicated he thought the world was going to end at some point," West said.

Keller was believed to be well armed and well supplied.

"We know he in the past has had a number of rifles, scopes and handguns. He purchased some kind of bulletproof vest," she said.

Clues to Keller's whereabouts came while investigators were processing evidence at the house, authorities said. People in the area also reported seeing Keller's pickup truck near the trailhead.

"This isn't a hole in the ground. This is a large built-up structure," Sheriff Steven D. Strachan said of the bunker. "But hidden. It took some time to find it. In fact our tactical team smelled the wood smoke coming before they actually saw it."

Strachan said Keller's house nearby was set afire Sunday after the slayings, but it failed to spread beyond the kitchen. Authorities found a hard drive with photos, he told CNN Seattle affiliate KING.

One photo was enhanced and it aided in the search for Keller, who authorities said had been building the bunker for at least eight years.

"We believe he has taken pictures from 2004 to the present day," West. said

She said she did not know the precise size of the bunker, made partially of earth and logs.

"We believe it is very large," the spokeswoman said. "He has had plenty of time to work on it."

The sheriff's office this week obtained an arrest warrant for Keller stipulating two counts of first-degree murder and first-degree arson.

The bunker was found early Friday about 800 yards off the trail. It's possible the bunker has an escape hatch or door, officials said.

Keller works with a company that refurbishes and sells computers, according to West.

631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email:
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 149349575 -
Gray Television, Inc.