Bellingham woman found dead in apartment was murdered

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on July 6, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 6 at 10:24 PM

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Bellingham police say a woman found dead in her apartment was murdered.

Police say Kriston A. Dunya, 32, was shot once in the chest. Detectives say there was no sign of forced entry, and no sign of a struggle.

Dunya was a published author, who also worked for years at the Bellingham Barnes and Noble store.  Police say a co-worker went by her apartment Tuesday morning, after she didn’t show up for work, and found her body.

Neighbor Susan Horvath says she heard a scream on the 4th, but discounted it at the time.  She now wonders if it was Dunya, and says the gunshot may have been muffled by the sounds of fireworks nearby.

“It’s tough to tell the difference if it’s one or the other,” says Horvath.

Dunya’s family lives in rural Missouri.  Her mother Wilda Peterman, told KING5, the news “was the biggest shock in the world.  You’re numb.  You don’t know how to react.”  Peterman calls her daughter, “a sweet woman, very loved” and “as far as we know, she had no enemies.”

Police have not found the murder weapon. No suspects have been identified and no motive for the killing has been uncovered. 

Dunya has a 7-year-old son, who police say was with her ex-husband at the time of the murder.  Detectives have interviewed the ex-husband, a Bellingham resident, and say he is not a suspect.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact them at (360) 778-8838.

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