Suspect in Wash. state murder who posted photos online surrenders in Oregon

David Kalac is accused of killing his girlfriend near Seattle earlier this week.

A 33-year-old man accused of murder in the slaying of his girlfriend in Washington state, posting photos of her body online, and writing that he wanted authorities to kill him has peacefully surrendered in Oregon.

Clackamas County sheriff's Sgt. Nate Thompson said late Wednesday night that David Kalac was arrested at a transit center in Wilsonville, about 20 miles south of Portland.

Kalac has been charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of Amber Lynn Coplin, 30, in Port Orchard, Washington. He was transported to Portland, where he was being held on $2 million bail.

An officer was patrolling the area when a man came out of a wooded area near a parking lot.

"He basically said, 'I have a warrant for my arrest,'" Thompson said in a telephone interview. Kalac was cooperative but provided no details about how he got to Wilsonville, the spokesman said.

Washington state detectives have arrived in Portland and hoped to interview him, as well as take possession of the dead woman's car, a 2001 Ford Focus that was found Wednesday afternoon in Portland, about 160 miles south of the crime scene.

Portland police briefly chased the car early Wednesday.

Kalac has a criminal history in Washington state and Virginia that includes convictions for assault, burglary and DUI, Kitsap County, Washington, sheriff's Deputy Scott Wilson said.

Deputies have confirmed that gruesome photos posted on a website are of the victim and the Port Orchard crime scene, Wilson said.

The person who posted the photos commented online on how the woman was killed and wrote of planning to be fatally shot by police.

"He's our primary suspect," Wilson said Wednesday. "It stands to reason that in all likelihood he is the person who posted those photographs."

Coplin's body was found by her 13-year-old son, Wilson said.

Hours earlier, the boy had heard her arguing with Kalac, detectives said in court papers. An arrest warrant was issued Wednesday.

Police say they found Coplin's body in a bedroom. Near her head was her driver's license with the word "dead" written on it. The words "bad news" were written on blinds. And the words "she killed me first" were written on a picture on the wall.

Coplin's son told police that his mother and Kalac argued loudly Monday night, court records show. Witnesses also said they heard what sounded like a violent argument and loud thumping and banging noises coming from the apartment in the city west of Seattle across Puget Sound.

The teenager told police he thought his mom was sleeping in and Kalac was gone when he left the apartment Tuesday morning, according to court documents.

According to Wilson's account, the boy came home from school Tuesday morning and took a nap. When he woke up that afternoon, he noticed the car was missing, went to check on his mother and "found her unresponsive," Wilson said.

At that point, the teen called his father, who is Coplin's estranged husband. The man came over, found the body about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and called 911, the sheriff's spokesman said.

The caller reported that Coplin had been assaulted and her car was missing, court documents show.

Kalac texted a friend from his cellphone on Tuesday morning telling the friend that he would read about him in the news.

Wilson said at some point Kalac took Coplin's car and made the three-hour drive to Portland, where a police officer spotted the vehicle about 1:15 a.m. Wednesday.

Wilson said investigators believe he is the sole suspect in Coplin's death and they are not looking for any accomplices.

The officer tried to stop the driver early Wednesday, but the car sped away. The chase was called off because the car was swerving into oncoming traffic.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.