NORTH BEND, Wash. - A man who lived at a North Bend home where two women were killed in a suspicious fire is being sought after at least five gas cans were found inside.
Investigators have been unable to locate a 41-year-old man who lives at the home, Peter A. Keller, and consider him a person of interest, King County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Cindi West said.
Detectives are handling the case as a homicide while they await a determination of the cause of death from the King County medical examiner's office. It is not known if the women died in the fire or if they were dead before the fire ignited.
Dispatchers received a report of smoke at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday. Firefighters had to force their way into the home.
West said the front door of house was barricaded with a couch and chair, but a family friend later told the Sheriff's Office that the family had the furniture purposefully placed there to maximize space and they never used that door.
However, at least five gas cans were found throughout home.
Authorities used a bomb squad robot to search the home, for fear it had been booby-trapped.
Inside they found the bodies believed to be Keller's wife and teenage daughter. The official identities of the victims have not been released.
“It’s very suspicious. We have two victims and a vehicle possibly missing,” said West.
That car was found near the North Bend library just before 5 p.m., but there was no sign of Keller.
Cate Reynolds and her daughter were friends with the mother and daughter who lived in the home. The teen graduated from Mt. Si High School last year.
Investigators will return to the scene on Monday, where flowers sit outside the burned home.