Peter Keller found dead in bunker, King Co. sheriff says

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on April 28, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Updated Sunday, Apr 29 at 10:17 AM

NORTH BEND -- Investigators say Peter Keller, the man wanted for the murders of his wife and daughter, was found inside a deep underground bunker, dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

The TAC 30 team used an explosive to breach the roof of the heavily fortified hideout, which allowed enough access for deputies to enter the bunker.

"The tactical officers at the scene of the bunker have been able to visually confirm that there is a dead body inside. They believe that the person has been dead for some time, there's a great deal of blood and a pistol nearby, and they do believe that this is Peter Keller," said King County Sheriff Steve Strachan.

The King County Sheriff's Office said the man died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Weapons, boxes of ammunition and stockpiled supplies filled the two-level space that goes back roughly 20 feet

“He's got shelving in there, he's got food, he's got water, he had a wood stove,” said Strachan.

Keller is accused of murdering his wife Lynnettee, 41, and daughter Kaylene, 19,  last week, then setting his North Bend home on fire. Deputies were able to track him to the bunker he has been building for the past 8 years on Rattlesnake Ridge.

Strachan said the tactical team had been working overnight to get the top off the bunker. They were able to remove enough material that they were able to see that there was a body inside.

After the body was found, the first call made by detectives was to the family of Lynnettee Keller.

“I feel really relieved but I wish he would have just offed himself, but at least we have closure,” said Sally French, a friend of Lynnettee's.

Swat teams surrounded the bunker on Friday. Overnight, they said they were able to see lights go on inside the hideaway. Deputies believe Keller has a portable generator inside the bunker.

The terrain around the bunker is incredibly difficult. Several Swat Team members had to be treated after coming down from the mountainside. One deputy severely sprained an ankle, others were dehydrated and were given I.V. fluids.

"There's really almost no down time for them, they're always either deployed or trying to get some sleep, which again is very, very difficult in a situation like this," said Strachan.

Keller had not been seen since a Sunday fire at his North Bend-area home, where his wife and daughter were found shot to death.

An arrest warrant issued Wednesday for Keller accused him of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree arson.

The Sheriff's Office used their Bomb Disposal Unit to clear the bunker to ensure there were no explosive or booby traps.   No booby traps were found.

The Sheriff's Office said late Saturday that the bunker has officially been turned over to King County Parks.  It will be up to them and the Department of Natural Resources what happens to it from here on out. 
 

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