By Martin J. Kidston
Kristi Lee Walker of Havre and Kevin Wayne Caplette of Box Elder, both 30, were found shot to death in separate quarters of a Havre home Thursday afternoon.
Police have not identified any suspects, however, they are searching for as many as 12 individuals who may have been in the victims company as little as 6 hours prior to the incident.
Havre Police Assistant Chief Kevin Olson said that at approximately 12:40 p.m. Thursday, a male acquaintance of Kristi Walker discovered the bodies. Olson said the caller, whose name was not released, phoned 911 after making the discovery.
Police arrived on scene to find Walker and Caplette dead, both victims of multiple gunshot wounds possibly inflicted with an unknown caliber handgun. Its also unknown if more than one weapon was used in the incident.
Due to the complexity of the crime scene, Olson said that the Emergency Response Team from the FBI had been called to assist in the collection and processing of evidence. The FBI arrived late Thursday night and removed the bodies at 12:30 a.m., nearly 12 hours after being discovered. The bodies were taken to Missoula where State Medical Examiner Gary Dale will conduct an autopsy.
Olson said there is enough evidence to suggest that an altercation may have occurred before the shooting, spreading from one portion of the house to another. Police found the victims in separate locations within the home. Police also found a dozen bloody footprints leading from the front door, across the driveway and into the street.
The FBI is better equipped to deal with things such as blood splatter recovery and possible DNA analysis, Olson said. Weve been working in conjunction with them, and are now 95 percent done with collecting evidence. We cleared from the actual residence at 4:30 this morning, and the autopsies should begin shortly.
Olson said that while the FBI works to process evidence, Havre Police Capt. Mark Stolen will continue to head the investigation. Yesterday, three Havre police officers were assigned to work in conjunction with the FBI, while five others worked to track down leads in order to solve the puzzle of events that occurred in the hours leading up to the incident.
Were not ruling anything out, Olson said.
Police have placed a statewide, attempt-to-locate bulletin on three individuals. Olson also said a search is underway to locate up to 12 additional people who may have been in the victims company six to eight hours prior to the incident. No one has been identified as a suspect.
While the home, located at 1231 Sixth St., is listed under the parents of Kristi Walker, she was identified as the primary occupant. Olson said Caplette was likely a friend, visiting the night before. The bodies were discovered by a third party who also resided at the address.
The last homicide to occur in the Havre area was in March of 1993, when transient Jose Santos bludgeoned Walter and Thelma Gebhardt with a hammer. The last homicide to occur in Hill County was earlier this year, when Westy Sean Spring was found shot to death on the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation south of Havre. On Feb. 9, FBI agents took a suspect into custody.
Walker and Caplette bring the number of shooting deaths to three this year within Hill County, population approximately 17,000.