by: Deborah Horne Updated:
BREMERTON, Wash. - The peace of a quiet, close-knit Kitsap County community was shattered just before noon Sunday.
A neighbor watched in horror as a woman allegedly stabbed her husband in the garage of the house they had long shared in the 8500 block of Corvina Loop Northeast in East Bremerton.
Then smoke began to rise from the roof.
"I think it's horrible!"
The smoke got the attention of longtime neighbor Liz Haugen.
"This was black smoke," said Haugen. "There was something obviously wrong."
Kitsap County sheriff's deputies said the mortally wounded man staggered across the street where a neighbor performed CPR until medics arrived. But they couldn't save him. He died at a local hospital waiting to be airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and found the woman. She was airlifted to Harborview in serious condition.
Late Sunday afternoon, detectives named her as their only suspect.
"We do believe that that person is responsible for the stabbing of the deceased male," said Sgt. Ken Dickinson. "At this point I can't tell you the relationship or that kind of thing or the reasons behind it. We're still investigating. We don't know."
Friends identified the couple as 54-year-old Alan Charpentier who worked for the Social Security Administration in Seattle, and 55-year-old Chong Cha Charpentier.
They said the couple recently separated and Alan had moved out. No one knows why he was at the house Sunday morning nor what sparked the tragedy.
Dickinson was asked if the fatal stabbing was unusual.
"I would say, yes, unusual for this area," he replied.
A spokeswoman at Harborview Medical Center said Mrs. Charpentier's injuries resulted from the fire.
Late Sunday, she remained in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit.